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So it's almost game time. Time to get taped up and prepare for the opening of what could be a very successful year. The heat are in town, a town that is still very much on the mend and a raucous Garden crowd will be the perfect elixer for a few hours to numb some pain and stress. Frankly a few shots of bourbon wouldn't hurt either.

Here's what we are looking for against the World Champs tonight.

Limit quick scoring bursts- What Miami does better than anyone is get out on top of teams early and force them to climb uphill. Just when the game is close, the heat have an incredible way of going on 7-10 point bursts thanks to shot making and transition baskets. The Knicks must value possessions and limit these bursts if they are going to have any chance. If not, it's going to be a long game.

Control the Pace- I believe if you can keep the heat out of transition you can lull them into playing a half court game. They can beat you in several ways so I believe the Knicks benefit here from old school grind it out basketball against their first team and hope their rotation players can have an impact.

Melo at Small 4- I absolutely love Jason Kidd and Novak on the floor together and this can be a great chance for the Knicks to command the late first and early second quarters if they can rebound. I think you can really do some damage offensively with Kidd, Smith, Novak, Melo and either Chandler or Camby. I look forward to seeing this 5.

Tags: Knicks
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