Miami has a 2-1 series lead, and the Heat is -4.5 favorites with a 207-point total when the two heated rivals square off, and Phil has a betting suggestion for tonight’s clash.
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New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat Game 4 Preview
Miami is in the driver’s seat and is a -4.5 favorite when they meet New York in a must-win situation for the Knicks. Only 13 teams in NBA playoff history have come back to win a series down 3-1, which would be less than ideal for the Knickerbockers.
Jimmy Butler isn’t going to want to head back to Madison Square Garden with a tied series, and he is a player that can dominate a team and has smashed New York during this series.
Butler is listed as questionable with a sore ankle, but he is expected to suit up. The former Marquette Golden Eagles standout has willed the Heat to their series lead, averaging 26.5 per game, and the only game NY won in this series was with Butler out of the lineup.
Jimmy came back with 28pts and a late jumper to seal the W ☕️ pic.twitter.com/st4sqcJbdK
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 7, 2023
Butler isn’t the only Miami player on the injury report–Caleb Martin is listed as questionable with a back contusion. In contrast, Udanis Haslem and Haywood Highsmith are probable for Monday’s tilt.
The Knicks have their back to the wall, and their offense has been shaky throughout this series. Jalen Brunson is averaging 25 per game in this series but has shot 27% from downtown while draining 92% of his charity stripe attempts.
RJ Barrett has a -15.7 +/- this series guarding Butler, but New York needs more from Josh Hart. Hart hasn’t been as productive against Miami as in the Knicks’ 4-1 series victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. With Julius Randle less than 100%, Hart must step up; otherwise, the Knicks’ season is in peril.
Phil’s Best Bet–Miami Heat -4.5 -110
The Heat is playing solid basketball and should cover the -4.5 points tonight. Butler is playing at a different level entirely, and New York doesn’t have an answer for him. Miami has shot the ball better in this series from downtown (30%) and from the free-throw line (81.2%), and this trend should continue tonight.
Heat center Bam Adebayo has dominated Randle on the defensive end of the floor, and the Miami defense has held the Knicks to 21% shooting from beyond the arc. Miami is undefeated in the playoffs, and I look for this trend to continue and for the Heat to cover the spread.
Miami Heat -4.5 -110 (SuperBook)