A couple of weeks ago, I mapped out how it would be better for the Knicks, match-up wise, for them to face the Miami Heat in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs. I stick by those comments 110%. With the way the Knicks are playing right now (Melo’s otherworldly tenacity on offense, dependent on the 3-ball), it makes perfect sense to go up against the Heat, who struggle with perimeter defense from time to time.
In order for the Knicks to make sure they match up with Miami, they must win tonight in Charlotte, or hope the 76ers lose in Detroit. I’m not going to go on a rant about this being a trap game, because its not. I mean, its the Charlotte Bobcats. They’re 7-58. They’re in the midst of a 22 game losing streak. A loss tonight will give them the worst single-season winning percentage in league history.
Oh, and they’re owned by Michael Jordan. Hilarious.
In all likelihood, the Knicks will get a comfortable first half lead against the lowly Bobcats, then rest Tyson, Melo and Amar’e in the second half. I’d expect Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to be the leaders in the second half, getting them more minutes so that they’re ready for the post-season. And, of course, I anticipate some big 3s from the immortal Steve Novak.
We’ll get into excruciating detail of the Knicks playoff opponents once they officially have one (so, tomorrow, for instance). For now, just know that the Knicks need a win tonight, because if you’re a die-hard like me, you want LeBron. You want the Knicks up 3-2 with Game Six at the Garden.
And you want to make LeBron cry Adam Morrison style. Its all I’m thinking about…