Mar 27, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) and point guard Mario Chalmers (15) and shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the second half against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. The Bulls beat the Heat 101-97. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Mario Calmers all to sit out

The New York Knicks head into the American Airlines Arena Tuesday night to not only looking to extend their win streak to nine games, but also send a message to the defending champions Miami Heat that the Knicks are a real threat to their supremacy in the Eastern Conference.

Mar 22, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (right) and shooting guard Dwyane Wade (left) during the second half against the Detroit Pistons at American Airlines Arena. Heat won 103-89. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

While the Knicks will have a very good chance to extend their winning streak, win or lose, they won’t get the opportunity to make that statement because the Heat will be playing shorthanded.

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra declared LeBron James (hamstring), Dwyane Wade (ankle, knee) and Mario Chalmers (ankle) all out for tonight’s game against the Knicks, all with minor injuries.

He said they would be re-evaluated day to day, but neither player participated in shootaround Tuesday morning.

“We had the busiest month in franchise history,” Spoelstra told The Palm Beach Post. “We want to make sure these guys are healthy.”

Asked if James’ issue is a hamstring “strain,” Spoelstra simply called it tightness, adding that “we’re not worried about it.”

It is bad news that the Knicks won’t get the chance to beat the Heat with LeBron and Wade on the floor for the third time this season, but winning the season series from the Heat will still be a big deal, even without two of the best players in the NBA.

As for the Heat sitting their stars, quite frankly they can due to holding an 11 game lead in the conference over the Indiana Pacers and an 11.5 game lead over the Knicks.

But it’s almost a sad thing as for Knicks fans, beating LeBron is so much more satisfying than beating a Heat team with LeBron in street clothes.

The Knicks have been dealing with their own injuries all season and could welcome All-Star center Tyson Chandler back to the lineup, as Chandler has been upgraded to a game time decision.

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Tags: Dwyane Wade LeBron James Mario Chalmers Miami Heat New York Knicks

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