New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat: Matchup Breakdown and Prediction

Ronnie CollinsContributor IIIJanuary 27, 2012

Know this, a proud number of fashionably late fans that live in Miami will find themselves with a sense of urgency for tonight’s affair with the New York Knicks. With Dwyane Wade still nursing a sore wheel, the Heat will be vulnerable to a team in need of a win.

Looking at the position by position breakdown, New York could have a slight edge, but we know that has almost nothing to do with actually winning a basketball game in a talent laden league.

PG Matchup

Neither team is loaded at this position, but the Heat do have an NBA Finals experienced guy who is having his best season in his four-year career. Bolstering the argument is a feisty rookie from Cleveland State that has a lot to do with how well Mario Chalmers is playing.

Make no mistake, Iman Shumpert and Toney Douglas will bring a good deal of resistance, but the Heat claim a slight edge on this checklist.

SG Comparison

Unlike the paternal twin close lead guard comparison, the Knicks have a major edge on priority shooting position. Landry Fields is still stuck in his cocoon, but the potential is not lost on the passionate NBA observer.

His counterpart Shane Battier has been a dedicated role player over the balance of his career, utilizing hustle and open shooting to bolster his usefulness to an organization. Without Wade in the lineup, expect Fields to have more a permanent mark in this contest.

Big Forward Outlook

Take a silver or brown piece of coinage out of your pocket, flip it upward, watch it drop, then consider each side netting the same result. That best describes what the onlookers will get when comparing the Chris Bosh, Amar'e Stoudemire standoff.

I know that STAT is looking rather pedestrian this year, down seven points from a season ago, to include three fewer shot attempts. Conversely, with Wade out, Bosh is doing what he was doing in Toronto, providing headaches for opposing big men.

Just remember, the other positions have a great deal to do with what is negatively going on with STAT this year.

Center Dominance

Chalk up another category for the Knicks at the 5 position. It is not a total wipe-out, but Tyson Chandler does offer more offense than the defensive minded Joel Anthony. Both men compete on each possession, working with more pride than anything else, the crux of what fans pay big ticket prices to see.

Expect Anthony to have several opportunities around the basket, he will need to convert those in a game that promises to be filled with more testosterone than normal.

King Three

Those early arriving fans will arrive in facility with one principal matchup at the forefront of their brains, Carmelo Anthony vs. LeBron James. Let us all pray for the refs to swallow the whistles so we get the fireworks we expect from two of the best in the game.

Anthony is having a season to forget to this point, shooting less than 40 percent from the field for the first time in his career.  Adding to that, he had a performance two games ago that left every person in the gym blinking as if one large alarm clock had just ruined a good dream. He posted one point against the Charlotte Bobcats. One point, that is barely believable.

On the flip side, James is on his way to another Most Valuable Player award, if he can successfully stiff arm Kevin Love and Kobe Bryant. James often goes ‘bananas’ when supporting the weight of what Wade would typically produce; expect tonight to be nothing different.

Miami takes this matchup based on the totality of what James brings to the game of hoops. Not only does Miami take this matchup, they owe the Knicks for the confounding loss in the same building from a season ago.

Heat by four.