New York Knicks: The 3 most important upcoming games

New York Knicks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
New York Knicks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

GAME 3: New York Knicks @ Miami Heat 1/26/22

Opponent Breakdown:

On January 26th the Knicks will visit Miami for the first time this year for their first matchup of the season against the Heat. With a record of 26-15, Miami has established itself as one of the Eastern Conference’s powerhouses and could very well be considered a contender. The most impressive aspect of the Heat is that they aren’t remotely close to being fully healthy.

All-stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have missed extended periods of time and they’ve still been able to win lots of games.

For Butler, it’s an ankle injury that he suffered at the beginning of the new year and while he’s expected to return soon, he does not have a specific timetable.

As for Adebayo, the Kentucky product tore a ligament in his thumb back in December and has been out for over a month. Plus, Victor Oladipo has been out all season with a quad injury and the team hopes he’ll be back by the end of the year.

With the increased injuries, we’ve seen the resurgence of Tyler Herro who recently had a 33 point game against the defending Western Conference champion Suns. After a sophomore slump, Herro has really risen as a quality 6th man of the year candidate.  Veterans Kyle Lowry and PJ Tucker have also given the team a boost especially on the defensive end.

Last Meeting:


Key to Victory:

By the time this matchup comes around, it’s unclear what the Heat roster will look like, so the safest key to victory is without a doubt bench play. Miami currently stands at 3rd in the league in bench points per game with 38.9.

While the Knicks stand at 11th, just 2.6 points behind that mark with 36.3, it’s important the bench has a special impact in this one. We know how much Tom Thibodeau likes to lean on his starting unit but it’s important that New York learns how to compete with Miami’s depth.

I would keep an eye on Immanuel Quickley in this one as he will likely be instructed to guard Herro while RJ Barrett is on the bench. We know New York’s starters can produce, but with Miami’s grit and grind play style, it’s important that the New York Knicks receive contributions from everyone who sees the floor.

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