After finding themselves on the wrong end of the shock result of the season so far, Miami Heat star LeBron James said there were no lessons to be learnt. But having lost to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, the reigning NBA champions will hope they’re not schooled again when the New York Knicks come to South Beach on Thursday night.
With the best record in the Eastern Conference so far at 13-4, it’s a massive test of the Knicks credentials as a serious contender and they would surely have loved an easier time last night when they were pushed to the final second before squeezing out a 100-98 victory over Charlotte.
Carmelo Anthony sat out the end with a cut finger and there’s a small doubt over his availability in Miami, where the Heat are a perfect 8-0 this season and favoured by -7 at 1.91 on the handicap to win out. New York have only failed to beat the 100-point scoring barrier only once in their last nine games, with their rivals making the ton seven times in a similar stretch.
The Phoenix Suns’ latest marketing wheeze is to offer their fans a full refund if they’re not “completely satisfied with the experience” in their match-up against the Dallas Mavericks. No pressure then, on a group of players who have lost their last four, including an overtime decision at Memphis.
Dallas hasn’t been much better, losing three of their last five games by more than 22 points. So with home advantage, take the Suns to shine on the handicap of -3 at 1.91.
It’s the penultimate week of the Euroleague’s regular season and just three places are still up for grabs in the Top 16 round. Fenerbahce can clinch with a win at Panathinaikos on Thursday and with the defending champions already through, the Turks could be good value at 2.70. Milano are also chasing a spot when they host Group C leaders Zalgiris Kaunas. But the Lithuanians want first place so have a punt on them at 2.40 to make the Italians sweat until next week, especially with Milano guard Keith Langley a major doubt.
Bet of the Day: Take Miami over New York on the handicap of -7 at 1.91.