Game: New York Knicks @ Miami Heat
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Knicks +6.5, Heat -6.5
The Knicks have lost four of their last five games including Monday’s 95-93 loss to Cleveland. Now, New York travels to Miami to take on a Heat team that leads the Eastern Conference with a 30-17 record. Miami has won seven of its last nine games including a 117-103 victory over the Lakers on Sunday. The Heat have been doing all this and are not even fully healthy.
Health has been one of the Knicks’ biggest problems recently too. C Mitchell Robinson did not play in the loss to Cleveland and he is listed as questionable for tonight. Nerlens Noel is also questionable and G Derrick Rose continues to be out with an ankle injury.
Tonight could be the night the Knicks play newly acquired Cam Reddish. Obtained from the Hawks, Reddish is reunited with his college teammate RJ Barrett, who is the Knicks’ second-leading scorer averaging 17.4 points per game. Julius Randle leads the Knicks scoring 18.9 points a game. The Knicks actually have seven players scoring in double figures, but Rose and Kemba Walker have missed roughly 20 games each.
Despite all the double-digit scorers, scoring is an issue for New York. In three of the Knicks’ last five games, they couldn’t manage to score more than 93 points. New York put up 87 against Charlotte, 91 against New Orleans, and 93 in the loss to Cleveland. The Knicks rank 27th in the NBA in scoring averaging 103.9 points per game. Part of the problem is shooting as New York also ranks 27th in the league in field goal percentage (43.6).
The Heat, on the other hand, can score enough and their defense has been outstanding. Miami ranks fourth in the league in points allowed per game at 104.1. They are also the No. 1-ranked defensive rebounding team in the NBA. Bam Adebayo is back in the lineup. The big man averages 18.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Jimmy Butler, who has two triple-doubles in Miami’s last four games, leads the Heat with 21.4 points per game.
The issue for Miami tonight is the health of Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro. Both are listed as questionable. Herro averages 20.4 points a game and Lowry scores 13.4 points and dishes out 8.3 assists per game. If either or both do not play, Butler will have to take on a heavier load.
The Heat are 8-2 ATS in their last ten games. New York has not been winning, but the Knicks have been good against the number going 6-2 ATS in their last eight games. With the Knicks’ lack of scoring, tonight’s total is a relatively low 203. The Knicks do trend Under with 11 of their last 16 games going Under to the posted total. Miami, on the other hand, has seen the total go Over in nine of their last 13 games. The Knicks haven’t won at Miami in their last five tries.