Heat Projected Starting Line-Up:
PG: Mario Chalmers
SG: Dwyane Wade
SF: LeBron James
PF: Udonis Haslem
C: Chris Bosh
The New York Knicks will tip-off their 2012 post-season in Miami and take on the second seeded Heat. New York will have its hands full in this series, but if there’s any team that can challenge the Heat, it’s the Knicks.
The Knicks have the talent to match-up with the Heat and their bench is one of the most productive in the NBA.
The Miami Heat’s frontcourt is centered around LeBron James and Chris Bosh. These two players are leaders on this team and can both go off for some big games. James looks like the front-runner for the MVP trophy and the Knicks must make him their defensive target. James dictates nearly every aspect of the Heat and it will go as far as James takes them. This season James has averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. As for Bosh, he may be the least productive member of the Big Three, but he can still make a major impact on the team. He will have to defend Tyson Chandler, someone who is more tougher and more physical than him. Bosh scores 18 points per game, but expect to see those numbers drop in this series. Haslem does not score often for this Heat team and isn’t relied upon on the offensive end. He is used mostly for rebounding and defensive purposes.
In the backcourt for the Miami Heat are Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers. Wade is a dynamic scorer and someone who can carry the load if James is having an off-day. Wade has a penchant for attacking the basket and gets most of his points from the paint. Wade averages 22 points per game and the Knicks must be aware of his offensive explosion. As for Chalmers, he doesn’t do much for the Heat expect shooting the three. James runs point often for the Heat and Chalmers is the recipient of many of James’ passes.
Keys to Victory:
1. Stay calm- The Miami Heat will make runs in this game and the Knicks must not overreact. The home crowd will be pumped for this match, but it is up to the Knicks to respond to any runs.
2. Punish the Heat in the paint- Tyson Chandler is a game-time decision with the flu, but the Knicks are still a bigger team than the Heat. Miami does not have a lot of size, so the Knicks have to bring the ball into the paint.