New York (11-9) at Miami (7-13)
When: Tuesday, December 6th 2016
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Time: 7:35 ET | TV: MSG, FSN Sun
After a sluggish start to the season, the New York Knicks are putting together a nice run and will put their three-game winning streak on the line against the Miami Heat on Tuesday. New York has won six of their last eight games and eight of eleven after Sunday’s 106-98 win over Sacramento after winning a home-and-home set with Minnesota. The frontcourt combination of Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony are stepping up their games and point guard Derrick Rose is starting to get more comfortable in New York. Porzingis’ shooting has gone cold – 8-of-30 in the last two games – but came up big against the Kings on Sunday with 15 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. The 21-year-old is averaging 3.2 blocks in the last six games and is getting more time at the center spot. Anthony is in his own shooting slump at 33% from the floor in the last five games but is still producing when it matters most – he nailed a key 3-pointer in the final minutes on Sunday to help hold off the Kings. Rose is averaging 21.3 points on 54.1% shooting over the last four games.
Miami is coming off a successful three-game road trip and returns home for one game before going on a brutal road trip. Miami topped Denver and Utah on back-to-back nights to begin the trip but fell 99-92 at Portland on Saturday despite 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting, 16 rebounds and five blocks from Hassan Whiteside. Miami is dealing with injuries to several key players but is leaning on Whiteside and point guard Goran Dragic, who is averaging 22 points in four games since coming back from an elbow injury. Dragic recorded 27 points and 17 assists in his first game back on November 28th and came up just shy of a triple-double on Saturday, finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Dragic’s play is helping to cover for the loss of starting shooting guard Dion Waiters, who sat the last four games and will miss at least two more weeks with a groin tear. Miami took three of the four meetings last season, with the three wins coming by an average of 17.7 points. Miami’s next three games will be on the road in Atlanta, Cleveland, and Chicago.
Miami is going to want to make the most of their lone home game in a stretch of seven games. Whiteside and Dragic are carrying this team right now and the Knicks are a little too inconsistent for me. I know New York is the hotter team, but they’re just 2-6 away from home.
Pick: Heat -1