Lately it seems like every game provides the resurgent New York Knicks with some sort of measuring stick. No doubt that will be the case tonight when the 18-12 Knicks visit Miami to take on LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
The Knicks are 15-4 in their last 19 games, but one of those four losses was a 113-91 drubbing by the Heat on Dec. 17 at Madison Square Garden. James quieted the faithful at MSG with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Amare Stoudemire and company head into tonight's matchup after a pair of impressive victories over Oklahoma City and Chicago last week at Madison Square Garden. They held the Thunder and Bulls to a combined 41.5 percent shooting.
"We're really playing great defense right now," said Raymond Felton, who has handed out 10 or more assists in six straight games. "Our offense is clicking right now, as well. Our defense has really been great over these past couple of games. That's why we're winning games."
Miami struggled early in the season as James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh tried to figure out how to blend their considerable skills. They are 15-2 in their last 17 games, however, with only a pair of losses to Dallas as blemishes.
"There were a lot of components, big components, that we were trying to incorporate. That takes time," said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. "But there were other things that we had to go through. We had to go through some adversity to figure out that we have to do this together."
James averages 24.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.2 assists for Miami, Wade gets 23.3 points, 6.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds and Bosh gets 18.5 points and 8.2 rebounds nightly.