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A couple of pivotal game losses to the Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls and the Memphis Grizzlies in the month of April have forced Miami to realize that they are locked into the No. 2 seed of the 2012 Eastern Conference Playoffs.
However, it’s not so bad.
It means they’ll be facing the NY Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, unless the Philly Sixers can swoop in and take the No. 7 seed away from them by winning games against the New Jersey Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Knicks are facing the LA Clippers Wednesday, which will not be an easy bout. It’s a possible loss that could land the franchise as the No. 8 seed. For right now, the Knicks-Heat matchup in the first round of the playoffs is supreme to all others. The LeBron-‘Melo matchup would be the main attraction as well as watching how coach Mike Woodson handles Amare Stoudemire in the rotation.
James is Miami’s best defender so it would only be right if Carmelo Anthony is his defensive assignment. LeBron is going to have the opportunity once and for all to prove why coach Erik Spoelstra makes sure he is guarding the opposing franchise’s best offensive threat.
He attempted to use Shane Battier and Dwyane Wade on Anthony during their last meeting, however that obviously did not work. Anthony beat out both of these veteran players and fans found themselves taking to Twitter wondering why James was not guarding ‘Melo all along.
There is too much on the line this season for Miami to undervalue LeBron defensively and for him not to live up to his defensive potential. ‘Melo will be one of his toughest jobs this season, but it is inevitable that James has been playing on an entirely different level.
Anthony or not, LeBron is not going to allow him to work over the Heat. No 42 point scoring clinics. No raining jumpers like there’s no tomorrow. Anthony is going to have to fight for every point he scores and LeBron is just the man to make sure this happens.