NBA Game 4 Preview: New York Knicks at Miami Heat

May 8, 2023

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Game: New York Knicks@ Miami Heat

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Odds: Knicks +4.5, Heat -4.5

Total: 206.5

The Knicks-Heat playoff series reminds many of the 1990s. Tight defense, some subpar offense, physical shoving matches. Between 1997 and 2000, these two teams played each other in the postseason four years in a row. In this year’s best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series, the Miami Heat are up 2-1 on the New York Knicks. That came after the Heat won Game 3 105-86 in a physical defensive battle. Miami will host Game 4 tonight.

Despite only hitting 7-of-32 three-point attempts (21.9 percent) and shooting 38.9 percent from the floor, the Heat won Game 3. The Knicks were somehow even worse making just 34.1 percent of their shots, including just 20 percent (8-of-40) from three-point range. New York never led in the game and was beaten in the paint 50-36. The Knicks were also outrebounded 50-48.

Miami’s Jimmy Butler will be the target of the Knicks’ Monday effort as he has scored at least 25 points in nine straight playoff games. Butler sat out Game 2 of the series with a sprained ankle but roared back in Game 3 with 28 points. In the two games against the Knicks, Butler is averaging 26.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.

Josh Hart of New York has been given the task of defending Butler. Despite his best efforts, Hart has been unable to prevent Butler from entering the paint or getting to the free throw line. Butler has gone to the line 22 times in his two games, making 19 of them (86.4 percent). He also has a 45.9 percent two-point shooting percentage (17-of-37). Butler has yet to make a three-pointer (0-for-3) but no one has really noticed.

Immanuel Quickley’s left ankle injury forced him to leave Saturday’s game, which could cause the Knicks another problem. Quickley finished second in the voting for NBA Sixth Man of the Year while averaging 14.9 points per game during the regular season. The other issue is the combined shooting of Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, and RJ Barrett. The trio shot 16-for-51, including 2-of-17 from behind the arc in Game 3 on Saturday. That cannot continue if the Knicks are going to even the series tonight.

Miami C Bam Adebayo also outplayed his two Knicks counterparts, Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein. In 36 minutes on Saturday, Adebayo finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds. In 40 combined minutes, Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein had two points and eight rebounds between them. The Knicks need to return to their Game 2 performance, when they made 16-of-40 of their three-point attempts for a 40 percent clip.

The Knicks are just 6-12 SU in the last 18 games against Miami. The Heat have been a strong bet against the number recently. They are 6-0 ATS in their last six games. The Heat is also 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games.

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