What The Knicks Need To Do To Beat The Heat In The NBA Playoffs

4/27/12 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Feb. 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) drives to the basket as New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) looks on during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The New York Knicks and the Miami Heat is possibly the most intriguing first round matchup in this year's NBA Playoffs. It features a multitude of superstars and reignites a fierce rivalry from the 1990's. Most people have picked the Heat to win the entire eastern conference, but experts also advise not to overlook the Knicks. The Knicks will have to play their best to have a chance against the Super Friends, and much of the pressure will be put on Carmelo Anthony. There's no doubt that Melo will have to play well, but keep in mind that his 42-17-6 performance against the Celtics in Game 2 last year concluded with a 96-93 loss. I feel good assuming that Melo will do his part, but there are many other players who will have to perform well to give the Knicks a shot at advancing.
Tyson Chandler needs to return to being... Tyson Chandler. Through the last 5 games of the season he's averaged 7 rebounds and .8 blocks per game - those numbers need to come up. His 5 rebound 0 block performance against the Heat two weeks ago will absolutely not fly in the playoffs. I'm hoping that he was trying to take it easy on his banged up body, but we'll see. He gets my vote for defensive player of the year and is essential to the Knick defense. He needs to stay out of foul trouble so he can stay on the floor and be aggressive down the stretch. Now I'm hearing he'll likely miss Game 1 with the flu, which is terrible news. I give the Knicks close to no chance if he's not on the floor.
Amar'e Stoudemire needs to give the Knicks some kind of defense and rebounding. Just give them anything in those areas. I'm not saying he's got to be Rodman, he just has to stop being a 10-year-old girl. He has to be in the right spot, not let people go right around him, and not back away from contact. And please, BOX OUT on the defensive glass. I see him standing around watching people jump in front for an offensive board more than anyone else in the league. If he can do a little of those two things, plus get his jumper to fall, he'll be a big difference-maker in the series.
Iman Shumpert has the ability to dominate a game defensively, but he'll sometimes pull a Houdini. Starting tomorrow, he has to play consistent defense and make Wade afraid to drive into the paint. He's got to be smart with his jump shot on offense - no more pull up transition jumpers. He'll be able to electrify the Garden crowd with big dunks, but has to make sure he doesn't keep letting the ball slip out of his hand when he's ready to cram.
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