Tonight, the New York Knicks will look to snap their three-game losing streak when they take on the defending champion-Miami Heat. Here’s what I’ll be watching for:
All eyes on Felton: Less than 72 hours after he was arrested on gun possession charges, Raymond Felton will be in his usual starting point guard role for the Knicks.
The arrest, which came early Tuesday morning, is the latest incident in what has been a forgettable, free fall of a season for both Felton and for the team as a whole. But, with his trial set for June 2, it does at least appear that Raymond will stay with New York for the remainder of the year.
That’s good news for the Knicks, who–after their recent release of Beno Udrih–desperately need Felton running the point.
LeBron’s return: After suffering a broken nose against the Oklahoma City Thunder last Thursday, LeBron James missed Miami’s game against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. However, the four-time MVP is expected to play tonight.
In two games against the Knicks this season, James is averaging 31 points, 6.5 assists, and 6.5 rebounds.
Carmelo’s scoring streak: Coming into tonight, Carmelo Anthony has scored at least 40 points in three of the Knicks’ last four games. Last season’s scoring champion is also averaging 32.5 points per game in the month of February.
If there’s one arena in which ‘Melo can continue to ride his hot streak, it’s Miami’s American Airlines Arena, where he scored 50 points in a Knicks’ win last April.
Prediction: Miami Heat 106, New York Knicks 86
The Knicks are a mess. Not only are they 2-9 in the month of February, but they will now have to play amid controversy and more distraction as details of Felton’s situation continue to unravel. Meanwhile, the Heat are making their push towards the playoffs and homecourt advantage. I see a blowout in tonight’s forecast, and not one that will favor New York.