Knicks vs Heat: Series Preview & Prediction

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Knicks vs Heat: Series Preview & Prediction

Chicago Bulls

I won’t lie, as a Bulls fan I’m both excited for this series and dreading it. It’s impossible to look at this series with Jimmy Butler putting the Heat on his back in Round 1 to earn a 2nd Round matchup with Tom Thibodeau and not wonder what could have been. Throw in Lauri Markkanen winning Comeback Player of the Year … and it’s been a tough week for Bulls fans.

But putting the Bulls fandom aside this series should be a ton of fun. How much does Jimmy Butler have left in the tank? Is Julius Randle going to be 100%? Can the Knicks win if he’s not? Does either of these teams have a chance in the next round against the 76ers or Celtics? The series gets going this weekend, and it should be a lot of fun!

Knicks vs Heat Series Schedule

  • Game 1: Sunday, April 30th – Heat at Knicks – 12:00 pm CT – ABC
  • Game 2: Tuesday, May 2nd – Heat at Knicks – Time TBD – TNT
  • Game 3: Saturday, May 6th – Knicks at Heat – Time TBD – ABC
  • Game 4: Monday, May 8th – Knicks at Heat – 6:30 pm CT – TNT
  • Game 5 (if necessary): Wednesday, May 10th – Heat at Knicks – Time TBD – TNT
  • Game 6 (if necessary): Friday, May 12th – Knicks at Heat – Time TBD – ESPN
  • Game 7 (if necessary): Monday, May 15th – Heat at Knicks – 7:00 pm CT – TNT

Who Is Favored To Win The Series?

On DraftKings Sportsbook, the Knicks are currently -155 to win the series while the Heat are +130.

Keys To The Series

  • How healthy is Julius Randle? Randle suffered an ankle injury during the series win over the Cavaliers late in Game 5. It also wasn’t his best series either. If his mobility is hampered all coming into this one, that could spell trouble for the Knicks. With Miami’s lack of size and depth in the post, a good and healthy Randle is a tough matchup for the Heat. So if Randle isn’t at 100%, that gives Miami an edge.
  • How much does Jimmy Butler have left in the tank? During the Bubble playoffs, Butler carried the Heat to an NBA Finals appearance and eventual loss to the Lakers because 1) the Heat were outmanned and 2) Butler just ran out of gas. The First Round went similarly that year with Butler putting the Heat on his back to a series win over the Bucks. Jimmy was amazing the whole series, but especially the last two games to close out the Bucks. Can he do it again against the Knicks? He might not have to wear the Superman cape to the same extent again, but he’ll need a little more help from his supporting cast in this series so he doesn’t run out of gas.
  • Offensive Rebounding. The Knicks were absolute monsters on the glass in the opening-round series against Cleveland, and it helped offset their poor shooting series. Can they do it again against Miami? The Knicks finished the season in the third in offensive rebounding and second in total rebounding. Miami finished in the bottom 10 in both categories. The Heat will need to do a better job keeping the Knicks off the boards, especially if Randle isn’t 100% early in the series.

Knicks vs Heat Prediction

The series really seems like it could be a coin flip, so I’m going to go with the best player in the series and take Jimmy Butler and the Heat. Thibs-coached teams have a tendency to run out of gas around this point in the playoffs, and a banged-up Julius Randle won’t help there either.

Heat in 6.

Author: Matt Rooney

Matt is from the Chicagoland area and has been working in Chicago sports since 2015 with stops at WGN Radio, the Chicago Blackhawks, Stadium, and NBC Sports Chicago prior to landing at Betsperts. Matt covers just about everything for Betsperts and Bleacher Nation but focuses on the NHL and college football.