Much like the last opponent to waltz into the Garden, the Heat are in the middle of a long winning streak. After struggling early in the season (sound familiar?) Miami has been playing some inspired ball and they now lead the SouthEast Division with 19 wins and 8 losses.
Of course the biggest story here is LeBron James' first game in New York since he spurned the Knicks in the offseason. The Garden is sure to be hostile territory this evening. Here's a look at some of the stories floating around the interweb leading up to this epic battle.
My hero, and now the Knicks' alumni relations and fan development adviser, John Starks thinks that the team in New York is superior to the one that lured LeBron's talents to South Beach. Check that out in the NY Post. This comes with a warning. The following is official propoganda.
"Our talent is better than what they have now, to be honest with you. [James' savior] quote right there didn't make sense to me. If he wanted to go to Miami, it was his decision, and we have to see what unfolds."
Knicks Legend Willis Reed, quoted in Ian O'Connor's article at ESPN had this to say about the LeBron James/Amare Stoudemire effect.
"Our fans were heartbroken when we didn't get King James," Willis Reed said from his Louisiana home. "I don't know if Amare's totally making up for that, but he is making people forget a little about LeBron. He's given all of us hope."
Remember all the hype about the Celtics/Knicks Rivalry? I found that to be completely bogus, like an honest politician. The Heat and Knicks definitely have a more legitimate rivalry right? Couper Moorhead explores that question at NBA.com
Amar'e Stoudemire told reporters after the Boston Celtics game on Wednesday, “We definitely earned our respect. I guarantee you right now Boston respects us. We’re no slouch. We’re ready to play every night. Boston knows it.”
The Sporting News has more on what to expect from tonight's Heat vs. Knicks game.
In a slightly related story, it turns out the Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers have been good for those who like to "play the ponies."