The New York Knicks are playing right now as if they will be a legitimate threat to the Miami Heat’s quest for a second straight NBA title. Last night was the first time since 1994 that the Knicks won the Atlantic Division and they have also reached 50 wins for the first time since 1999. Fast-forward to the present day where the Knicks have won 13 straight games. Are the Knicks a legitimate threat to the Heat’s quest for a second title?
It looks as if the Knicks will be facing the Boston Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The Knicks won the season series 3-1 and will look to get revenge on the Celtics, who swept them in the first round in 2011. Assuming the Knicks can get by the Celtics in what I think will be a tough six game series, I think their semifinal matchup will be easier than the Celtics.
8 of the 13 Knick wins during their current streak have been by double digits. What is scary about this streak is that the Knicks haven’t even been at full strength. Tyson Chandler, last year’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year, has played in only 4 of the last 13 games as he recovers from a neck injury. Amar’e Stoudemire who made his season debut on January 1st after recovering from a knee injury, reinjured the same knee on March 7th and is not expected back until the playoffs at the earliest. I actually think the Knicks are better without Stoudemire.
It also helps that the Knicks have perhaps the NBA MVP on their team. I believe Carmelo Anthony should win over LeBron James and Kevin Durant. In his five games this month, Anthony is averaging 40.6 points per game including a 50-point game on the road against the Heat (The Heat were without LeBron and Wade for Anthony’s 50 point game). Anthony currently leads the league in scoring with 28.6 points per game and is also shooting 45% from the field. 11 players average at least 6.0 points per game and if you factor in the perhaps the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in J.R. Smith, than the Knicks have one of the best offenses in the league.
The Knicks went 3-1 against the Heat this season with all of their wins being by double digits. They match up extremely well against the Heat especially with a James-Anthony matchup. I believe that the Knicks can take the Heat to seven games and even defeat them. The Knicks are looking to make it back to the finals for the first time since 99 and Anthony and company look to bring a title back to New York.
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