Friday, April 27, 2012

New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat Position Match-Ups: Point Guard

This will be the first installment in a series of posts breaking down the match-ups between the Knicks and Heat position by position.  The first match-up will be at the point guard position.

Match-up: Baron Davis vs. Mario Chalmers

This match-up will have more of an effect on the series than people think.  With so much star power being showcased, Davis and Chalmers can sometimes get lost in the shuffle but will play big roles.

Davis is slower now because of injuries, but he is still a big body that can cause problems for Chalmers.  At 6’3” and 215 pounds, Davis can keep Chalmers at bay, while still allowing Davis do his thing on offense.  Having such a size differential look for Davis to get into the paint and cause some problems.  If Davis is able to attack the paint it will allow for easy scoring opportunities for Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire.  

Davis should also have his fair share of opportunities at the 3 point line.  The Heat put a lot of emphasis on their athleticism on the wings with Dwayne Wade and Lebron James trying to get into the open court.  This at times saps their energy, meaning slower rotations and open jump shots for the opposing offense, in this case the Knicks.  Davis may be hampered overall because of nagging injuries, but he is a veteran and is crafty enough to make things happen.  His veteran leadership and playoff experience, making the postseason six times prior, will help keep the young Knick players in line whether he’s on the field or on the bench. 

There are some negatives for Davis though.  The first obviously is health concerns.  Davis will provide strong first quarters playing well out of the gate.  But, as the game wears on, the pain increases in his hamstring, severely hindering his performance.  Intensity and physical contact are increased in the playoffs, which is not good for a player as injured as Davis.

Another tough thing is that the Heat play great pick-and-roll defense, which is what Davis, thrives in.  The Heat’s athleticism makes it tough on teams to run the pick-and-roll because they can recover so quickly and play the passing lanes. 

The advantage in this match-up I will say goes to the Heat.  Chalmers is less of a concern with what is asked of him than Davis is for the Knicks.  This match-up has a whole different ring to it though when J.R. Smith enters the game.  With J.R. Smith running the point, the Knicks have a distinct advantage over the Heat, but Chalmers gives the Heat the advantage when Davis is in the game.  

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