Although everything for the Heat starts with LeBron James, it will be important for the Knicks to limit Dwyane Wade’s impact on the game. The more help James gets from his teammates, the easier it is for him to impose his will on the game. The Heat are 26-4 when he scores 20 points or more. When Wade fails to reach the 20-point plateau, the Heat are a much more pedestrian 11-9, including two losses to the Knicks earlier this season. James, on the other hand, has failed to reach 20 points in just two games, with the Heat splitting the pair.
The defensive duties on Wade will largely fall on Iman Shumpert. Wade has all but abandoned the 3-point shot this season, relying on his mid-range jumper, and slashes to the hoop to generate baskets. Similar to John Wall, Shumpert will need to stay in front of Wade, and force him into taking contested jumpers. Lebron James will almost certainly get his on Sunday, but if Shumpert can limit Wade’s effectiveness, the Knicks can grab their third win of the season against Miami. A win will do wonders for the Knicks confidence come playoff time.
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