The Heat handed New York a 119-98 loss in Miami on March 21 and things aren't much better for the Knicks, who are finishing off their fourth straight 50-loss season.
New York might be without Enes Kanter, who totaled 23 and 13 rebounds in the last meeting. He has been held out for two games because of back and wrist injuries and his status is questionable.
Though not his desire.
"It doesn't matter if we have one or two games left, 10 games left or whatever, you still want to go out there and fight with your teammates and battle with your teammates," Kanter told reporters Thursday. "It would be really selfish to think about opting in our opting out or thinking about my contract and not playing, giving up on my teammates and my team, it would be really selfish. For me, the Knicks are still paying me, I'm still part of this team. If I'm still healthy I'm just going to go out there and fight."
Like Spoelstra, Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek has faced some internal strife within his team, though his status with the franchise is on far shakier ground than the Heat longtime coach.
With New York coming off a brutal 97-73 loss to the struggling Orlando Magic, New York's fourth straight loss, Hornacek faced questions about whether his team quit on him in defeat.
"I think right at the end there," Hornacek said after his team shot 35 percent and scored 12 points in the fourth quarter "That last four, five minutes. The season's not over and we have a couple more home games. If they come out and shoot the ball like that, it's going to be really ugly." << Read more
Copyright 2018 by Associated Press