The New York Knicks will try to fight off elimination on Sunday as they suit up for Game 4 and another playoff matchup against the Miami Heat. The Knicks had a a four-point lead going into the second half of Game 3, but they ended up losing the game by a score of 87-70.
This should be a very interesting game, as elimination matchups are usually where coaches throw out all of the stops to try and earn that victory.
As we inch closer to Game 4 of this big playoff matchup, here is everything you need to know about another Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks playoff game.
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
When: 3:30 PM ET, May 6, 2012
Live Stream: NBA League Pass
Betting Line: Miami -8
Key Injuries (via CBS Sports):
Miami: No injuries reported.
New York: Amar'e Stoudemire (doubtful with a hand injury), Jeremy Lin (out with a knee injury), Iman Shumpert (out with a knee injury)
What's at Stake?
This is a do-or-die game for the Knicks—they either win here and extend the series for another game, or they lose and watch the Miami Heat move on to the next round.
What They're Saying
Knicks center Tyson Chandler says his team will continue to fight despite being down 0-3.
It's a tough one. It's an uphill battle, but it's one we have to go through. Obviously no one wants to be in a hole 0-3, you know in the playoffs especially against a tough team like (Miami), but that's the way it is and we've got to keep fighting.
New York's small forward Carmelo Anthony scored 22 points in Game 3, but he was only one of three Knicks to score in double-figures in that game. He was also the only player that scored more than 12 points. He says that the focus lately has been on defense, but more points are needed to win this game.
"When you can't score the basketball, that makes the game extremely hard, no matter how much defense we go down there and play," Anthony said.
Most Important Player to Watch: New York Knicks SF Steve Novak
The Heat has done a tremendous job of closing in on Novak and preventing him from shooting from beyond the arc. But the Knicks have to find ways to get him open and hope he can produce offensively. He's one of the top three-point shooters in the league, but he has only scored a combined nine points in this series. In Game 3, he didn't score at all in 22 minutes of playing time.
The Knicks need all the offense they can get right now, and Novak can really provide a boost for them if he gets going. In the 13 games this season where Novak has made at least three shots from beyond the arc, New York is 16-7. I'd take those percentages right about now if I were a Knick fan.
Key Matchup: Mario Chalmers vs. Baron Davis and Mike Bibby
We know Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are going to get theirs, and that's fine. They've scored a combined 147 points and have 28 assists in the first three games. But it's when you let the other Heat players go off that really puts you in a deep hole that's nearly impossible to climb yourself out of.
Chalmers is a solid three-point shooter, but there's no reason for him to make five of them in Game 3 and score 19 points. With many injuries to key Knick players, there are limited scorers on the floor for them. They need to limit scoring production from players such as Chalmers if they are to have any chance in this game.
Bibby played solid off the bench in 18 minutes of play, and you should expect to see him get even more minutes in this game.
It'd be nice to see the Knicks show some kind of fight and find a way to win this game, but I just don't see it happening. Miami is playing extremely well on both sides of the floor, and New York doesn't have enough pieces to keep up.
Stoudemire may end up playing in this game, despite his cut hand, but I don't expect him to be much of a factor. The Knicks' season should end on Sunday, but they'll enter next year healthier and ready to have a real shot at making a deep playoff run.
Heat Win: 102-87