New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat - 2/1/14
Miami Heat (32-13) at New York Knicks (19-27)
NBA Basketball: Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 8:30 pm (Madison Square Garden)
The Line: New York Knicks +5.5 -- Over/Under: 201.5 See the Latest Odds
The New York Knicks look to stay hot tonight when they play host to LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
The Knicks have bounced back from a five-game losing streak with four straight wins and if they keep playing like they did on Thursday against the Cavaliers, they could see themselves back above .500 for the first time since the season opener. Carmelo Anthony let the shots fly early and often to lead the team with 29 points, while JR Smith added 19 points in a rare appearance as a starter and with the Knicks ahead by 60-36 heading into halftime, Tim Hardaway Jr was able to make the most of his extended minutes off the bench and pour in 29 points to put the icing on the cake. With the win, New York improve to 19-27 overall and 11-15 at home.
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Meanwhile, the Heat had won five of six but just had their three-game win streak halted on Wednesday by the Thunder in a 112-95 loss. LeBron James had a big game of 34 points on 12 of 20 shooting, but other than 18 points from Chris Bosh and 15 points from Dwyane Wade, no player scored more than eight points. Ray Allen played 31 minutes and made just one field goal for his five points while Norris Cole played 23 minutes and finished the game scoreless. Maybe it's fatigue or maybe they just had an off game, but the fact is that the Heat aren't quite the same team they were last season where they strung together 27 straight wins in the regular season.
In ATS trends, the Heat are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a double digit loss at home and 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall, while the Knicks are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games following a win.
Head to head, the Heat are 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings and the Under is 8-0 in the last eight in New York.
Nothing caps off an eight-game homestand like a win over the two-time defending champs, so you know Melo and the Knicks have this game circled on their calendars. With that being said, their last four wins have all come against teams below .500 so it's tough to gauge how they would fare against an elite team like the Heat, so you have to take their recent form with a grain of salt. You could make solid arguments for either teams in this one but I'm just going to stick with the home team and take the points in what will be a great game to watch.