Miami Heat vs New York Knicks

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The Miami Heat made a few moves during the trade deadline last Thursday acquiring Nemanja Bjelica and Victor Oladipo. Both players have been listed as questionable for Monday’s game against the New York Knicks. Miami is third in the Southeast Division at 22-24 and two games behind first-place Charlotte. Miami lost to the Charlotte Hornets 110-105 on Friday in the Heat’s most recent outing. The Heat have lost six straight and part of that can be blamed on injuries as Miami has Goran Dragic listed as questionable with a back injury, as well as Kendrick Nunn and KZ Okpala. Udonis Haslam is out indefinitely for the Heat.

New York looks to extend its winning streak to four straight when hosting Miami at Madison Square Garden on Monday. The Knicks are 24-22 and third in the Atlantic division eight games behind first-place Philadelphia. New York defeated the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday 102-96 led by RJ Barrett and Alec Burks with 21 points each, but New York lost center Mitchell Robinson, who broke his right foot in the game. New York is first in the NBA in points allowed with an average of 105.0 points per game.

Miami needs more offense

The Miami Heat are scoring an average of 106.5 points per game which is 26th in the NBA and it’s no surprise the Heat went out and acquired Victor Oladipo to help put more points on the board as the guard was averaging 21.2 points per game with the Houston Rockets. Jimmy Butler is the leading scorer for Miami with an average of 21.3 points per game and Bam Adebayo is second with an average of 19.4 points per game. Butler is also the leader in assists with an average of 7.3 per game and Miami as a team is averaging 25.9 assists and 14.1 turnovers per game. The Miami assist-to-turnover ratio is 1.8

Miami’s defense is one of the best in the league as the Heat are allowing an average of only 107.6 points per game which is 4th in the NBA. Opponents are shooting only 44.6% against Miami’s defense, which is second in the NBA. The Heat are averaging 7.3 steals and 4.1 blocked shots per game with Butler the leader in steals with an average of 2.0 per game and Adebayo the swat leader with an average of 1.1 blocked shots per game. Miami is averaging 42.8 rebounds per game with 34.8 on the defensive boards and 8.0 per game off the offensive glass. Adebayo is the king of the boards for Miami with a team-high 9.4 rebounds per game.

Defense is key to New York’s Success

The New York Knicks are first in the NBA in points allowed at 105.0 per game and opponents are shooting only 44.3% overall and 33.6% from long-range, which is No. 1 in the NBA for both categories. New York is sixth in the NBA in rebounds with an average of 46.1 per game. The Knicks average 35.5 defensive boards and 10.6 rebounds off the offensive glass per contest. The leading rebounder is Julius Randle with an average of 10.8 boards per game. New York will miss the rebounding of Mitchell Robinson who was lost with a broken foot as the center averaged 8.1 rebounds per game. New York averages 7.0 steals and 4.6 blocked shots per game with Nerlens Noel the leader in both categories with an average of 1.0 steals and 2.0 blocked shots per game.

New York’s offense leaves a bit to be desired as the Knicks are scoring an average of only 105.3 points per game which is 28th in the NBA. The Knicks are shooting an average of 45.2% overall and 37.5% from long distance. Randle is the leading scorer for New York with an average of 23.0 points per game and RJ Barrett is second with an average of 17.6 points per game. Randle is also the leader in assists with an average of 5.8 per game and New York as a team averages 20.8 assists and 13.1 turnovers for a below-average 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Injury Report: Besides the aforementioned Mitchell Robinson, Richie Bullock, Terrance Ferguson and Julius Randle are questionable

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

New York has played very well this season and has the best defense in the NBA, but will be without center Mitchell Robinson for an extended period. Robinson broke his foot in Saturday’s victory over Milwaukee and the Knicks will miss his rebounding and rim-protecting on defense. Miami should have Victor Oladipo and Nemanja Bjelica in the lineup on Monday against New York and both will help the Heat at both ends of the court. Miami has covered the number in five of its last seven when playing head-to-head against the New York Knicks. New York could be without its leading scorer and rebounder Julius Randle, who missed the Knicks last game due to a thigh contusion and is questionable for Monday.

Miami Heat -4.5

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Full-Game Total Pick

When two of the best defenses in the NBA meet, the odds are high the total will finish under. Miami is fourth in the NBA in points allowed and New York is first. The total has finished under in five of New York’s last six and in 16 of the last 20 games that New York has played at home in Madison Square Garden against Miami. The Heat have seen the total finish under in six of the last seven when playing on the road.