The Heat: A True Contender

The Heat: A True Contender
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After struggling to beat the 0 and 15 Philadelphia 76ers Saturday night, the Miami Heat hosted the New York Knicks, who were coming into this matchup on a four game winning streak. Rookie Kristaps Porzingis has been playing at an extremely high level for the Knicks and veteran guard Arron Afflalo returned to the starting lineup two weeks ago. NBA fans were in for a very competitive matchup (so we thought). The Heat finally looked like the championship contender that they are and took this one 95 to 78.

This has to be the most eye opening win of the season. On a night when the Heat’s starting lineup struggled to really get much going at all, they still managed to blow out the Knicks who have been playing well. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined to shoot just 8 for 28 from the field. Luol Deng only chipped in nine points so it was very impressive to see the Heat win by 17 points. The Heat are proving to be one of the better defensive teams in the NBA and demonstrated this by holding a team led by Carmelo Anthony to under 33 percent shooting for the game.

It was an outstanding win for the Heat and it was great to see them take this one even though the starters didn’t play well for the most part. The Knicks are an above average team and the Heat’s bench finally played up to their expectations. The starting lineup did not have to log too many minutes and that is exactly what coach Erik Spoelstra loves to see. The fewer minutes the better for Wade and Bosh. They need the starting lineup as healthy as they can be heading into the playoffs. If the bench can step up as they did Monday night and play at a high level, that means the better off the team will be the rest of the NBA will take notice. Everyone on this team needs to stay healthy and if a veteran such as Amar’e Stoudemire is still alive and ready for the playoffs, the Cleveland LeBron’s better watch out.