Miami Heat – New York Knicks Preview (January 9, 2014)
Having shown signs of turning things around of late, the New York Knicks will get a chance to see just how far they’ve come against the two-time defending NBA champions.
Carmelo Anthony has saved some of his best performances for the Miami Heat, a trend he hopes to continue as the teams meet for the first time this season Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony knocked down three straight 3-pointers Tuesday during a 15-0 third-quarter run for the Knicks (12-22), who kept moving in a positive direction with an 89-85 victory over visiting Detroit.
Anthony finished with 34 points and hit a season-high six 3s as New York won for the third time in four games since the six-time All-Star returned from a three-game absence because of a sprained left ankle.
“He’s capable of doing that,” coach Mike Woodson said. “Some nights you have to expect that from Melo, but it can’t always be Melo.”
The supporting cast, however, has been decimated by injuries and illness, though Raymond Felton returned Tuesday following a six-game absence because of a groin injury.
Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin will be game-time decisions Thursday with an illness that has been going around the locker room, while Metta World Peace (knee) and Pablo Prigioni (toe) are likely to remain sidelined.
J.R. Smith hasn’t been able to step up, averaging 6.5 points and missing 13 of 16 from 3-point range over his last four games.
On Wednesday, the league fined the reigning Sixth Man of the Year $50,000 for “recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct” after he tried to untie an opponent’s sneaker for a second time in two games.