Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Legitimacy of the New York Knicks (Part 2)

Assuming anything in regard to the Miami Heat is not a foolish thing to do. With a winning percentage hovering around .900 in the past 40-someodd games gives anyone reason to assume LeBron James & Co. will be making another trip to the Finals. However, as the Milwaukee Bucks aren't exactly a tough contest, I wasn't surprised when Miami's perfect postseason record was tarnished last night by the resilient Chicago Bulls lineup. LeBron's late-game dramatics did reappear; though not quite in the most respectable way. Last night proved that the Heat are not as invincible as most tend to think, and there is a possibility that they could be eliminated before reaching the Finals, facing two fierce teams in the Bulls and the Knicks, provided they win their series (no, the Pacers can not beat Miami).

Oh sure I must be biased. But what's my dislike for LeBron James have anything to do with their difficulty in handling the Knicks this season? Now regular season is not anywhere near playoff play, but tell me, how much better are the Heat really? Outside of James, whom the Knickerbockers have been capable of keeping to human-level performance, Miami's lineup isn't that much better.

New York                       
PG - Felton            
SG - Prigioni                
C - Chandler                   
SF - Anthony                  
PF - Shumpert               

PG - Chalmers
SG - Wade
C - Bosh
SF - Haslem
PF - James

Now first starter-wise. New York has the better point guard in Felton, and while Chalmers is a similar player, Felton scores more and has been on fire the entire postseason. Miami with the shooting guard, I won't go on to explain why Dwyane Wade is better than 35 year-old rookie Argentine Pablo Prigioni. New York's center in Chandler beats out Bosh, having a monster FG% and being better defensively overall; kudos to Bosh's perimeter shooting which obviously outmatches Chandler's. Anthony is the better SF, and James the better PF, both pretty obvious assumptions. Now both New York and Miami have two of the best benches in the NBA, including 6th Man of the Year JR Smith, and former all-star three-point machine Ray Allen. That's a pretty even matchup that would make for an interesting seven-game series.

Yes, LeBron James is the best basketball player on the planet. But, to those of you who forgot, basketball requires five players on the court. Not one. While having the now four-time MVP will be a huge advantage to Miami in a potential Knicks-Heat matchup, assuming the Heat won't be put through a very tough test (that they may or may not fail, in facing the Knicks) would be a very precarious assumption indeed.

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