The playoffs are near. Like really near.
I’ve had numerous people ask me where I want the Knicks to finish the season, and ultimately whom I’d prefer them to play in the first round: Miami or Chicago.
The Knick still have a shot at the sixth seed, but it would require the Knicks to win out, while the Magic lose out.
The more realistic opponents are either Miami or Chicago.
Many people would prefer that the Knicks face Chicago in the first round of the playoff, which is wise, considering they’d be playing against a rusty Derrick Rose, but I’m in the minority who would prefer to play the star-studded Miami Heat.
Why, you ask?
I’m a very optimistic Knicks fan. Assuming the Knicks are able to beat Miami in a playoff series, their second round opponent would end up being either the Pacers or the Magic; either way, an inferior team than the Celtics or Hawks.
Getting to the second round will not be easy – against the Heat nor Bulls – and in order to move on, the Knicks will need some magic. Without Lin, ‘Melo is the playmaker. He’s the offense. He’s the lifeline. Because ‘Melo steps up his game against his rival Lebron – it’s hard to image him playing better than he has, I know – why not face of against the Heat?
Moreover, to beat either team, the Knicks will need some luck on their side, and with Jeremy Lin’s return looming on the horizon, I’d prefer to save Linsanity for a potential matchup with the Chicago Bulls in the conference finals. The Bulls are a better constructed team than the Heat, so bringing back a key play-maker could prove to be useful against the Bulls, more so than against the Heat.
Finally, the Heat are the bad guys in the NBA. Every team marks their matchups with the Heat on their calendars; fans want to see the big three lose; and players want to beat the Heat. The Knicks have a very talented second unit – one that could single-handily change a playoff series – so why not play the most hyped team in a long time in hopes that our players step up their game?
Winning a first-round series with either the Heat or the Bulls will be extremely tough, but I say bring on the Heat!