Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks Pick & Prediction APRIL 2nd 2024

The New York Knicks will be in search of a season sweep of the host Miami Heat when the postseason contenders meet Tuesday.

The Knicks (44-30) got the best of the Heat in a pair of home games this season, 100-98 on Nov. 24 and 125-109 on Jan. 27 in the rematch.

Miami (41-33) is in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and in possession of a spot in the play-in tournament with an eye on the sixth-place Indiana Pacers just ahead. The top six in each conference are guaranteed a spot in the first round.

“All I’m thinking about is getting ready for Tuesday,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We love competition. We have a bunch of competitors in our locker room. They love the feeling of how important all these games are and that’s the elation of when you get wins, but there’s also the other side of it — the consequences when you lose.

“When you really care about something, you have both realities. So we understand we have to play well, we understand all the cliches that you have to take it one game at a time. You start getting ahead of yourself, there are only eight games left, so I think it’s a little bit easier just to stay in the moment and just focus on literally one game and that’s what we’ll do.”

Miami will open a challenging four-game stretch against teams with winning records to open the month of April. The Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and Pacers all have a line on playing once the postseason begins, while the Houston Rockets have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA.

Miami is 17-24 this season against teams entering with records at or above .500.

Over the last 10 meetings with the Knicks, including the postseason, the Heat’s Jimmy Butler has averaged 25.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game. In the two games against the Knicks this season, Butler shot a combined 18 of 34 (52.9 percent).

Miami’s Bam Adebayo had a pair of double-doubles against the Knicks, including a 21-point, 12-rebound performance Nov. 24.

The Knicks’ frontcourt was limited once again Sunday, as Mitchell Robinson missed the game against the Thunder after re-injuring the same ankle he had surgery on in December.

The Knicks aim to rebound from back-to-back losses at San Antonio and home against Oklahoma City on Sunday. New York lost the games by a total of five points.

“It hurts; we’ve had two games where we had great shots,” Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein said. “That’s kind of the more disappointing thing.”

The late-season competition will also ramp up for the Knicks. Seven of eight remaining opponents are in the top 10 of their respective conference entering the month of April.

Jalen Brunson netted a combined 91 points on 36-of-72 shooting (50.0 percent) in the Knicks’ consecutive defeats.

After his 61-point outing against the Spurs, it was more of a balanced effort against the Thunder. While Brunson led with 30 points, all five Knicks starters scored in double figures, but it wasn’t enough to fend off the Oklahoma City comeback.

“We’ve gotta regroup, go down to Miami and we’ve gotta get ready for that,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “That’s the mindset I want us to have.”

–Field Level Media

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