Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 12/5/12
Not that the Heat ever need much motivation to get up for the Knicks. But now theyve got plenty of it. New York walloped Miami 104-84 during the seasons first week. And the Heat are coming off their most embarrassing a loss in a while, a 105-101 setback Tuesday at Washington. Its a good time for it, Miami guard Dwyane Wade said of Thursdays game at AmericanAirlines Arena against New York. The Heat limped home from Washington in the wee hours of the morning and didnt practice Wednesday. They played Tuesday without starting forward Shane Battier, who has missed three straight with a sprained right knee, and top reserve point guard Norris Cole, who has a mild groin strain. They also lost starting point Mario Chalmers for the game midway through the second quarter due to jammed left ring finger. Its unclear who might be ready to go Thursday. But whatever issues the Heat might have, its nothing that has dulled their excitement about another battle with their biggest rival. (The Knicks are) a team that is looking to get to a point where they can win a championship, and were trying to defend our championship, said forward LeBron James, who knows he will have to run the point plenty if injuries continue to hamper Chalmers or Cole. It will be electrifying in our arena. We know that it always is with the Knicks and the Heat, and well see what happens. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra wondered after Tuesdays game if perhaps it might have taken a loss for the Heat (12-4) to wake up after having flirted with danger for a few weeks while needing late-game comebacks to beat three lesser teams. Facing New York in a nationally televised game on TNT might also work well as a wake-up call for the Heat, who mostly been hampered by shoddy defense. The Knicks (12-4) dominated Miami Nov. 2 at Madison Square Garden, an emotional game held several days after Hurricane Sandy had wreaked havoc on the area. They entered Wednesday nights game at Charlotte with a chance to supplant the Heat for the best record in the East. We know that theyll be motivated coming into our building, Spoelstra said. But what about the Heat? They were pushed around five weeks ago by the Knicks. Its a measuring stick for us because theyre one of the top teams in the East, Miami forward Udonis Haslem said. New York definitely got the Heats attention in that early-season meeting. The Knicks are no longer the pushovers they were last season, when the Heat won seven of eight meetings, including a 4-1 win in an Eastern Conference first-round series. Forward Carmelo Anthony, who entered Wednesday second in the NBA in scoring with a 26.6 average, is continuing to find his niche with New York, which hasnt missed not having forward Amare Stoudemire yet this season due to a knee injury. Anthonys player-efficiency rating of 24.4 is on pace to be the best of his career and and ranks eighth in the NBA. James is first at 28.2. Its a battle built for good television ratings. James has the top-selling jersey in the NBA and the Knicks peddle more jerseys than any other NBA team. It will be a good game for us coming off a loss and being back at home, Wade said. Its a game we all look forward to. We want to play better. Yes, the Heat might be banged up. But it's still a very good time to face New York. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jimmy Butler rips Marcus Smart in post-Game 4 interview: ‘He’s not about that life’

New NHL record set as 18 first round games require overtime

Fred Hoiberg rips officials, says Isaiah Thomas allowed to carry ball

Derrick Rose hangs out with Bulls owner at playoff game

WATCH: Robin Lopez unties, then reties Jae Crowder’s shoe in strange sequence

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tyronn Lue drops hilarious quote about LeBron James’ first-round success

Clarke MacArthur scores Senators’ series-winning goal after miraculous return to ice

Adam Schefter reminds everyone Jimmy Garoppolo is not getting traded

Russell Westbrook confronts reporter for question about Thunder bench

WATCH: Rockets bench laughs as Andre Roberson misses free throw

Steve Kerr does not rule out missing remainder of playoffs

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB (and that's just the injuries)

11 names you need to know for the NFL Draft

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

25 times Mother Nature disrupted sports

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

Box Score 4/20: When Westbrook isn't enough

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

White House championship visits over the years

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB

11 names you need to know for the NFL Draft

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: David Fizdale calls B.S.

Kris Bryant can become the next Derek Jeter — and more

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker