MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – If the Miami Heat are planning on getting their season back on track, Monday night’s game is a good place to start.READ MORE: Overnight Fire in Fort Lauderdale Condo Leaves One Dead, Second Hospitalized
The Heat welcomed their star player back to practice over the weekend, though he isn’t yet ready to play.
The New York Knicks will likely have their star back on the court, though he hasn’t been at 100 percent through most of the season.
The Heat again expect to be without Dwyane Wade on Monday night when they host Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks.
Wade has missed the last five games due to a strained right hamstring. He took part in the non-contact portion of Sunday’s practice, and is officially listed as questionable.
“I’m not even thinking about (Monday), I’m not even thinking about Wednesday in Cleveland but he’s out here with his teammates working and leading,” coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Anthony sat out Saturday’s 106-92 home loss to Golden State due to the sore left knee that has plagued him throughout the season. The Knicks (10-41) opted to rest him on the second half of a back-to-back after Anthony had played in their previous five games.
This once high-profile matchup now pits the East’s worst team in New York against a Miami club battling for one of the conference’s final playoff spots. Both clubs have dropped three straight.
“It’s not odd,” Heat center Chris Bosh said. “I’ve been competing for seventh and eighth longer than I’ve been competing for championships so it’s more familiar than anything else.”
Miami (21-29) has numerous other injury concerns.READ MORE: Miami Police Department Sees Record Number of Applications In Hours
Center Hassan Whiteside is questionable due to a sprained right ankle that kept him out of Friday’s 98-85 loss at San Antonio. Forward Shawne Williams is also questionable while continuing to deal with right hip soreness while forward Udonis Haslem plans to play one game after spraining his left wrist.
“What’s new? Let’s go. Bring it on,” Bosh said. “That’s the attitude we’ve got to have.”
New York is looking to get off to a better start after bad first quarters in every game of this slide. The Knicks trailed by seven after one period in Tuesday’s 108-97 loss to Boston, by eight after one in Friday’s 92-88 defeat at Brooklyn and by 13 after 12 minutes Saturday.
“We obviously showed again that we have it,” coach Derek Fisher said. “It’s a matter of being able to, over the course of 48 minutes, get more minutes in the game with that type of approach to playing the game.”
One positive over the weekend was the return of Amare Stoudemire, who totaled 22 points in two games after missing four with a sprained left ankle.
Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. will play for the third time in the city in which he was born. He has made 2 of 22 shots – going 0 for 12 on 3-pointers – for six points with seven fouls in his first two career games at Miami.
The Heat have captured four straight over the Knicks, winning 86-79 on the road in the lone meeting this season Nov. 30.
“We just really need to focus on (Monday) and get this win,” Bosh said. “It’s one there for us at home. We can move on from there.”
The Knicks are last in the NBA with 14.2 drives per game. The Heat figure to emphasize Bosh, who averages an East-high 9.9 elbow touches.MORE NEWS: Banksy 'Charlie Brown' Sells For $4 Million, While Child Prodigy Thrills Crowd With His Artwork
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