Knicks Route ATL, Face Heat

Lin and Carmello played well against Hawks, but face toughest test in Miami

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

In their second attempt to playing together cohesively, a re-do of the Jeremy Lin + Carmello Anthony experiment, the Knicks won in convincing fashion in Atlanta Wednesday night.

Sitting out the 4th quarter due to a commanding lead, the Knicks’ Lin led the team with 17 points and nine assists, continuing to look like an all-star in the 99-82 route. Being accused of playing selfish, Anthony added 15 noble points.

The Hawks were without all-star guard Joe Johnson Wednesday night due to a left knee injury. Atlanta, who has looked like a playoff team most of the season, has now lost five of six.

Since Linsanity began, the Knicks have now won nine of eleven, their biggest test coming Thursday night when they travel to Miami to take on the Heat; who are tied with Oklahoma City for the best record in the NBA at 26-7.

"It's going to be a lot of, a lot of anticipation about this game," Anthony said. "We're going down there to win. Miami is playing great basketball right now. One of the hottest teams, if not the hottest team in the NBA.

It was one year ago Wednesday that the Knicks made the blockbuster trade to acquire Carmello Anthony from Denver. Now that the Knicks have the trio of Lin, Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, taking on the Heat’s three-headed monster in Dwayne Wade, Lebron James and Chris Bosh will be must see TV. A win for New York would catapult them up the power rankings.

"I think for us, we want to make sure what we're thinking about is we want to build momentum going into the All-Star break and we want to make a push after the All-Star break. And I think this is a good opportunity to build momentum," he said.

No matter the result Thursday night in South Beach, this is most likely a playoff preview. If these two squads have anything similar to the Knicks-Heat rivalry of the late 1990’s, then get your popcorn ready. We could be in store for a boxing match that involves a basket.