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New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat: Preview, Analysis and Predictions

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New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat: Preview, Analysis and Predictions
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The New York Knicks (46-26) are travelling to take on the Miami Heat (58-15) in a highly anticipated contest between two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.

Anytime these longtime rivals meet on the same floor, you can be sure that a back-and-forth, chippy battle will occur. Things should be no different in the final regular season matchup of the 2012-13 campaign, even if some of the key players for each team could be missing.

Let’s take a look at where you can watch the game, check out the latest injury report, highlight some players to watch, predict the final score and much more in our Knicks vs. Heat preview.

 

When: Tuesday, April 2 at 8 p.m. ET

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Fla.

Watch: TNT

Live Stream: TNT Overtime

 

Knicks Injury Report (via USA Today)

C Tyson Chandler, Questionable, Neck

F Kurt Thomas, Out, Foot

F Amar’e Stoudemire, Out, Knee

F Rasheed Wallace, Out, Foot

 

Heat Injury Report (via USA Today)

F LeBron James, Questionable, Hamstring

G Dwyane Wade, Questionable, Ankle

G Mario Chalmers, Questionable, Ankle

 

Knicks Player to Watch: Raymond Felton

The Knicks have received a huge boost from the recent play of Raymond Felton, the veteran point guard who had struggled since injuring his hand in late December.

Over the past three games, Felton has averaged 16.3 points, 3.3 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals while shooting 66.7 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from beyond the arc.

His resurgence has helped the Knicks win their last eight games and could make it nine with yet another great outing against the Heat on Tuesday night.

In three games against Miami, Felton has put up an average of 16.7 points, 6.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from deep.

The 28-year-old always seems to bring his "A" game against the Heat, so tune in to see if he’s able to do it again in the final matchup between these two Eastern Conference powerhouses.

 

Heat Player to Watch: Chris Bosh

Bosh had a chance to shine against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday evening, as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were sidelined with various ailments.

The big man took the opportunity to show his stuff and finished the night with 23 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a game-winning three-pointer (his third trey of the night) to put the Spurs away, 88-86.

If James and Wade are sidelined against New York, or limited due to injury, the onus of winning will fall squarely on Bosh’s shoulders.

It’ll be interesting to see if he can answer the call, especially against a banged-up Knickerbockers frontcourt.

 

Prediction

We’re giving the edge to New York by a slight margin in this No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the East.

Which team will win?

Submit Vote vote to see results

After the Heat had their 27-game winning streak snapped by the Chicago Bulls, they’ve been able to rest their best players and recharge the batteries, leaving the door open for a quality opponent like the Knicks to pull out a win—even with the action taking place down in South Beach.

Of course, Miami isn’t just going to roll over for its rival and should be expected to put up a tough fight for 48 minutes. Even if LBJ and Wade sit, the margin of victory is still likely to be extremely narrow.

This could be a potential Eastern Conference Finals preview, so you can be sure neither side will take this matchup lightly.

Knicks 104 – Heat 102

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