|Written by Michael|
Rematches between some of the playoff winners and losers of last year have been completely overshadowed by the anticipation of Jeremy Lin and the Knicks taking on Miami's Big Three.
While Lin has revitalized the struggling Knicks, turning their season around in just about ten games, they have not really faced any of the league's most elite teams. To their credit, they did defeat the reigning champion Dallas Mavericks, but no one doubts the Mavs are in a transition year. Tonight's game against the Heat will be a real test for the Knicks.
No one really expects New York to come out on top, however. The sportsbook lists the Heat as the 9 point favorites to win with the total at 199. The Heat have been playing so well lately that it is difficult to imagine them losing to a New York team that is struggling to stay at .500 on the season. But if the Knicks play well and make it a close game, it may cement their rising reputation in the NBA.
More importantly, this game sees the mathup of the biggest story in the NBA this year with the biggest story in the NBA last year. The immense scrutiny and cynicism directed towards the Heat last season is in stark contrast to the adulation that has been showered on Lin since his appearance. This game should be one of the most watched in the NBA this year.
The last game between these two went Miami's way, as the Heat won 99-89 on January 27 in Miami. This was before Linsanity had begun, and Lin sat the entire game on the bench. In that game, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James put up 59 points. Tonight, the Knicks will need Lin, as well as Carmelo Anthony to contribute, as he had also missed the January 27 matchup with a groin injury.