Heat vs. Knicks Odds
|Heat Odds||+4.5 (-108)|
|Knicks Odds||-4.5 (-112)|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
After suffering a tough loss in Toronto, the Heat travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the Knicks Wednesday.
Can the Heat bounce back in New York? Or will the Knicks continue to dominate teams at home? Let’s break down how this one might play out.
The Heat posted an outstanding offensive rating of 126.5 against the Knicks exactly one week ago in Miami. Their half-court offense was dominant in that one, as they shot 57% from 3 over the course of the game.
Overall, they shot 66.7% effectively from the field, a 95th-percentile performance. That game was certainly an outlier shooting performance for the Heat, who rank just 26th in effective field goal percentage (52.7%) on the season.
Whether this offense makes shots is pretty much the barometer for its success. Miami doesn’t generate many offensive rebounds (18th), and it doesn’t get out in transition, ranking 25th in transition rate and just 19th in transition offensive rating.
It’ll have trouble replicating that performance with its best offensive player, Jimmy Butler, entering the matchup as questionable. Butler sat against the Raptors, so I would expect him to play here given the playoff implications of this game.
Even with Butler, a 57% performance from 3 is certainly not repeatable, so expect offensive regression from the Heat here.
New York Knicks
The story for the Knicks post-trade deadline has been the tandem of Josh Hart and Immanuel Quickley off the bench. Look no further than these two for the reason why the Knicks have managed to remain in fifth place despite missing Jalen Brunson for an extended stretch of games.
Hart has a net rating swing of (+14.8) as a Knick, placing him seventh in the entire NBA in the net-rating swing for the year. Quickley has the single best defensive rating swing (-10.9) in the entire NBA and is now the clear favorite for Sixth Man of the Year at most sportsbooks.
Let’s highlight Quickley for a second, as he’s coming off an unbelievable 40-point performance against the Rockets. Quickley shot 14-of-18 (78%) from the field, 5-of-7 (71%) from 3 and also dished out nine assists. Quickley now has two 35+-point performances and has combined for two total turnovers in those games.
His ability to take care of the ball, defend, and shoot efficiently from all over the floor is going to get him paid in the offseason.
Between Quickley and Brunson, the Knicks have two of the five guards to have played 2,000-plus minutes this season and rank in the top five in turnover percentage on offense, with Brunson ranking first and Quickley sitting fifth. Their ability to take care of the ball will be huge tonight as they face a Heat defense that ranks fourth in turnover rate (16.3%).
If Brunson makes his return from injury tonight and the Knicks get some of that positive defensive regression, I’d expect them to roll tonight.
It’s difficult to make a prediction without knowing the status of the two most impactful players on either side of the court, but if Butler and Brunson are both able to go, I would lean toward the Knicks at -4.5.
This line says the Knicks are only 1-1.5 points better than the Raptors, as Toronto opened at -3 yesterday before Butler was ruled out.
Considering the Heat are now on a back-to-back and the Knicks rank a full two points ahead of the Raptors in net rating (+3.0 vs +1.0), I would have to make this line closer to -5.5/-6 if Brunson plays.
I expect Brunson to play tonight, so grab the Knicks at -4.5 now.
Pick: Knicks -4.5 (-110)