Going by how their previous meetings panned out, the Miami Heat's clash with the New York Knicks should be an entertaining one. In their last three games, the triumphant team won by six points or less.
The past two weeks have been a struggle for the Miami Heat, who have lost six straight games. The arrival of Victor Oladipo should help them both offensively and defensively, as the former Houston Rockets guard is one of the better two-way players in the game.
However, he will not be able to help immediately due to illness. However, the recently-acquired Nemanja Bjelica could make his Miami Heat debut in this game.
In contrast, the New York Knicks have won three straight games and four of their last five. They are fourth in the East with a 24-22 record on the season.
Coach Tom Thibodeau will have to keep his team playing at a high level to avoid getting surpassed by one of four teams, which includes the Miami Heat.
Miami Heat vs New York Knicks Injury Update
The Miami Heat have many injured players on the roster.
Gabe Vincent has right knee soreness and is a doubtful starter against the New York Knicks. Goran Dragic is also listed as 'probable' to play against the Knicks.
Unlike Vincent, the veteran guard has missed the last four games due to recurring back spasms. If he plays, he will help Miami Heat address some of their consistency issues.
Meanwhile, Victor Oladipo is out of the New York Knicks game because of a head cold, according to the Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds. He didn't travel for the game in New York and hasn’t yet made his Miami Heat debut.
Kendrick Nunn has a right ankle sprain which could keep him from playing on Monday, per the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. He suffered the injury on Friday while playing against the Charlotte Hornets.
KZ Okpala is out because of the league’s COVID-19 protocols. The second-year forward has missed his team's last four games. The arrival of Trevor Ariza and Nemanja Bjelica could likely keep him on the bench even when he returns, though.
Like Okpala, Udonis Haslem is out of Monday's game against the New York Knicks due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks don’t have too many players on their roster.
However, first-time All-Star Julius Randle is a doubtful starter against the Miami Heat. He has a right thigh contusion which kept him out of the Milwaukee Bucks game on Saturday.
Reggie Bullock is another questionable starter because of a right ankle sprain. He is expected to be evaluated during the morning shootaround.
Mitchell Robinson is definitely out of this game after suffering a broken right foot in the Milwaukee Bucks game. The 7' 0" center might not heal in time for the playoffs, and a probable timetable for his return has not been set.
Miami Heat vs New York Knicks Predicted Lineups
With both Nunn and Oladipo out and Dragic unable to play, Max Strus could be given more playing time. Vincent will likely take over Nunn’s starting position, while Tyler Herro will come off the bench.
Herro could play more minutes, too, while Jimmy Butler may also slide into the shooting guard position. Meanwhile, Okpala’s playing time will likely go to Precious Achiuwa and Bjelica, who will space the floor for the Miami Heat.
As for Haslem, the veteran big man hasn’t played at all this season, even when healthy. His absence will not cause a change in head coach Erik Spoelstra’s rotation, though.
New York Knicks
Should Randle be unavailable to play, Taj Gibson could take over his spot in the New York Knicks' starting lineup, while Obi Toppin and Kevin Knox back him up.
If Bullock is out again, Alec Burks could continue to take his place as a starter. Meanwhile, Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley will likely see extended playing time behind the starting backcourt.
Without Robinson, Nerlens Noel will likely start at center for the New York Knicks against Miami Heat, with Gibson and Toppin flip-flopping between power forward and center should Randle miss the game.
Miami Heat vs New York Knicks Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Gabe Vincent l Shooting Guard - Duncan Robinson l Small Forward - Jimmy Butler l Power Forward - Trevor Ariza l Center - Bam Adebayo.
New York Knicks:
Point Guard - Elfrid Payton l Shooting Guard - Alec Burks l Small Forward - RJ Barrett l Power Forward - Taj Gibson l Center - Nerlens Noel.