NBA schedule 2012: Knicks and Heat square off Thursday

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

New York has a huge contest on Thursday against LeBron James and the Miami Heat on national TV.

The New York Knicks are off to a great start at 12-4, and now will be tested with two road games coming up against the Charlotte Bobcats and Miami Heat on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

The marquee matchup is of course against Miami, the prohibitive favorite to win another NBA championship. Of course, the Knicks extinguished the Heat in their season opener at Madison Square Garden, 104-84.

It won't be easy to beat Miami again, with LeBron James having another MVP caliber season. James is leading the Heat in all three major categories with 24.7 points, 8.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game.

However before New York plays Miami, it must oppose Charlotte. The Bobcats set a new record as the worst team in NBA history last year, finishing with just seven wins. In 2012, Charlotte is much more formidable. The Bobcats have already matched last season's win total (7-8) and are following the lead of Kemba Walker, who is averaging more than 16 points per game.

As for the Brooklyn Nets, they will host the Oklahoma City Thunder in a much-anticipated showdown at the Barclays Center.

Led by Kevin Durant, the Thunder come in with a 14-4 mark. Durant has been up to his usual tricks, averaging 26.2 points per night.

It's uncertain whether center Brook Lopez will be able to play, as he continues to recover from a foot injury.

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