Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – As the Miami Heat prepare for the first regular-season game of the year on Christmas Day against the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks, they are starting to hear from other teams ready to try and dethrone the Eastern Conference Champions.
The New York Knicks haven’t won a playoff game in more than a decade, but that’s not stopping the current squad from trying to talk trash to the Big Three of the Miami Heat.
Knicks center/power forward Amar’e Stoudemire told a teammate, “We’re going to hunt in South Florida. You what we’re going hunt down there, right? We’re going to hunt LeBron and D-Wade, I got the rifle, man,” according to the New York Post.
Given the fact the Knicks were swept out of the first-round of the playoffs last season by the aging Boston Celtics; the Heat are not likely to worry too much about the Knicks until the playoffs begin.
Still, the Knicks have tried to make improvements to a roster that could score with anyone, but couldn’t stop anyone in the league from scoring on them.
Most significantly, the Knicks cleared the cap room needed to sign center Tyson Chandler away from the Mavericks. Chandler was a defensive force in stopping the Heat in the NBA Finals last season.
Chandler joins an already impressive frontline that will also feature the aforementioned Stoudemire and All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks will also add former All-Star guard Baron Davis once he recovers from injury.
At the point guard position, the Knicks will rely on the combination of former Heat guard Mike Bibby and Toney Douglas. But like the Heat in 2010-2011, the bench is threadbare of quality players to boost the squad.
The Knicks will likely be one of the final three teams vying for the Eastern Conference Championship along with the Heat and the Chicago Bulls.