The New York Knicks will look for revenge when they welcome the Miami Heat to their home court, as the visitors have beaten them twice this season.
The Miami Heat, though, are struggling at the moment and have lost their last six games coming into this matchup. In their last outing, they lost 105-110 against the Charlotte Hornets. They need to arrest their skid and resurrect their playoff hopes.
The New York Knicks, meanwhile, are the more in-form side, having won three games on the trot. They beat the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks 102-96 in their last outing.
Miami Heat vs New York Knicks - Prediction
The Miami Heat currently have the longest active losing streak across the two conferences.
Their offense has struggled quite a bit, which has hurt them the most during this stretch. Nevertheless, they will bank on the likes of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo yet again, as new addition Victor Oladipo is ruled out for this game.
The New York Knicks, meanwhile, seem to have rediscovered their mojo and are the favorites for this game. However, they should be wary of the Miami Heat and guard against any complacency.
The momentum is definitely with the New York Knicks, which augurs well for their hopes of stretching their win streak to four games. Moreover, the likes of Derrick Rose and Nerlens Noel also made their return to the lineup in the last game. That gives the Knicks an advantage over the Miami Heat, who will be without key players for this matchup.
Nevertheless, a close matchup may ensue, as the Miami Heat could be itching to return to winning ways. On that note, let's take a look at a hypothetical combined 5 between the two teams.
Miami Heat vs New York Knicks - Combined 5
Point Guard - Elfrid Payton | Shooting Guard - RJ Barrett | Small Forward - Jimmy Butler | Power Forward - Julius Randle | Center - Bam Adebayo.
Payton has started in all the games he has played for his side this season and is averaging 12.2 points per outing. He is the best point guard available between the two teams and is a regular starter for his side.
Meanwhile, RJ Barrett is an undisputed pick in this hypothetical lineup, as he is easily one of the top five players in the two rosters this season. The guard/forward who is in his sophomore year in the league is averaging 17.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game this season.
The two best players in the two rosters, Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat and Julius Randle of the New York Knicks, make this combined starting five as the two forwards.
Butler has had a fabulous campaign for the Miami Heat. Randle is having a career-best season too and had his first All-Star game nomination this year.
For the center position in this hypothetical lineup, Bam Adebayo gets the nod. Adebayo, along with Butler, has been a key component of the Miami Heat this season, averaging 19.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.