Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Forget LeBron, Chris Bosh is the key to a Knicks-Heat matchup.
The Miami Heat are a nightmare for any team on the strength of LeBron James alone. But while all eyes will be on Melo and LeBron clashing, be it at power forward or small forward, the tipping point for the Knicks and Heat is Chris Bosh.
Don't put too much weight on the Knicks' out-of-nowhere 104-84 drubbing of the Heat. Working out some kinks in the first game of the year, the Heat struggled defensively and Bosh couldn't solve Chandler in his new position at center. He finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds on just 5-of-13 shooting, unspectacular numbers surely not befitting the third piece of the Big Three.
Miami's defense has not yet returned to its stifling ways, but Bosh is producing at an All-Star level again. He has started every game at center, and he's averaging 20.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game while shooting .560 from the field. Considering he has the agility to beat this season's slower Chandler and the range to pull him out of the paint, that's bad news for New York.
The Knicks have done an impressive job of stripping big men of the ball this season. Hopefully guys like Kidd and Felton can keep Bosh honest and allow Chandler to stay inside, which will give Melo some help dealing with LeBron.
After that, it comes down to hoping the Steve Novaks beat the Ray Allens from beyond the arc, which is akin to flipping a coin.
The fact is, there's no sure answer to this Heat team.
On the other hand, Miami has no concrete solution for the Knicks, either. Only in hindsight will we truly know how either team can best the other in this matchup, a matchup that will remain compelling throughout the season and beyond.