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Point Guard: A draw
As of late, Baron Davis has not been the same player the NBA is used to seeing. With questions about his conditioning still looming, Davis has become more of a liability on defense. And on offense, while he's had a few throwback moments, he just can’t dunk anymore.
Mario Chalmers is younger, faster and a better defender when he is all in. What takes away the leverage he has on Davis is that you never know when he’s going to be fully engaged.
Shooting Guard: Advantage, Miami Heat
Iman Shumpert is too inconsistent offensively to give Dwyane Wade a run for his money. His defense, on the other hand, keeps getting more impressive.
The rookie takes huge gambles going for steals and they pay off occasionally, which makes him an asset for the Knicks. Still, Wade plays so well in the paint, is Miami’s best all-around scorer and is more athletically primed than Shumpert.
There is absolutely no way Shumpert can or will trump Wade’s effort.
Center: Advantage, New York Knicks
Chris Bosh and Tyson Chandler will be matched up in this first-round series. Bosh is Miami’s power forward, but this matchup will force him to play center, a position he is more than able to play.
Neither Joel Anthony nor Ronny Turiaf will see much time against Chandler. Chandler’s intensity and power trump Bosh, but only by a few inches. Bosh has been devalued in a lot of fans’ minds because of how many games he has missed so close to the playoffs. However, he can’t be counted out.
He has shown himself to be Miami’s X-factor more than a few times before. His length will undoubtedly give Chandler trouble.
Small Forward: Advantage, Miami Heat
Forcing James to focus on his perimeter game is the only way to stop him. Attacking any other part of his game is a waste of time. LeBron continues to get so much better. With him operating primarily in the paint, clearing the lanes and still clamping down on defense, Carmelo Anthony is in some trouble.
Anthony has played a better defensive game this season, but he is not nearly as consistent as James. Anthony will not average 40-plus points in this series, no matter how much of a pure scorer he is. James is the best floor general in the league. He is the answer to 'Melo’s game.
Power Forward: A draw
Haslem has always been said to be the hustler and dirty-work player for the Heat. However, he has lost some of his notoriety this season, having gone through a stage in which his shot would not fall, making him a bit transparent.
Coming into the playoffs, Haslem will be a huge factor against the likes of Amare Stoudemire, even if he isn’t on the floor all the time. Stoudemire is the second-best player in New York, and his athleticism, a little less effective due to injury and absence, will make this a struggle for Haslem.