NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 26th (All times eastern)
Miami Heat (13-57) at New York Knicks (19-51), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The two worst teams in the Eastern Conference will go head- to-head tonight at New York's Madison Square Garden, where the lifeless Knicks attempt to put a five-game losing streak to an end with a matchup against the equally-inept Miami Heat.
New York has actually dropped 12 of its last 13 contests to fall to a woeful 19-51 on the campaign, with only the 13-57 Heat having amassed a worse record in the East. The Knicks' regression in 2007-08 has led to speculation that team president of basketball operations and head coach Isiah Thomas may soon be out of a job.
The rumors of Thomas' possible ousting grew stronger after the New York Daily News reported on Monday that the Knicks had reached an agreement with former Indiana Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh to become the organization's new president. The 67-year-old Walsh stepped down from his post with the Pacers on Monday.
Later in the day, New York suffered its most recent loss with a 106-91 setback at home to area-rival New Jersey. Vince Carter poured in 27 points and Richard Jefferson tallied 26 to help the Nets deal the Knicks their seventh straight defeat at Madison Square Garden.
That slide matches a franchise record for consecutive home losses for New York and is the club's longest skid at the current Garden. The Knicks also lost seven in a row at the previous edition of the arena during the 1963-64 season.
Jamal Crawford paced New York with 26 points and David Lee finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds on the evening.
The injury-plagued Knicks played Monday's tilt without guard Nate Robinson (sprained knee) and swingman Quentin Richardson (wrist), with both players expected to sit out tonight's game as well. In addition, point guard Stephon Marbury (ankle surgery) and center Eddy Curry (knee surgery) are sidelined for the remainder of the season.
Miami comes into the game on a rare positive note, having posted a 78-73 home victory over Milwaukee on Monday. Chris Quinn netted a career-high 24 points for the Heat, which ended a seven-game home losing streak and an overall slide of three straight outings.
The Heat won despite playing without forward Shawn Marion and guard Jason Williams, but did get head coach Pat Riley back on the bench after he missed the team's previous two games to scout potential draft choices at the NCAA Tournament.
Marion has now sat out six of the last seven games with back spasms and is doubtful to return tonight. Williams is expected to miss about a week due to a jammed right thumb.
The Knicks have had the upper hand in this series as of late, as New York won two of its three meetings with the Heat this season and is 5-1 against Miami since the start of the 2006-07 campaign. However, the Heat did top the Knicks by a 75-72 score in Manhattan back in November.
03/26 10:54:21 ET