Carroll's Keys: Heat-Knicks 

April, 14, 2012
4/14/12
11:32
PM PT
By John Carroll | Scouts Inc.

Sunday’s game between the Miami Heat and New York Knicks could be a preview of a playoff series in two weeks. The Heat are currently in second place in the Eastern Conference with a 41-17 record and the Knicks are tied for seventh place at 31-28. The Knicks have won nine straight at home and are 13-4 under Mike Woodson. They are just 3.5 games behind the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Celtics with seven games left. They are also three games behind the sixth-place Orlando Magic, who may struggle down the stretch without the injured Dwight Howard.

The Heat are virtually locked into the second position in the Eastern Conference. They are 3.5 games behind the Chicago Bulls with only eight games left in the season. They have had a strong season, but there are still large questions looming regarding their championship capabilities. Their defense is struggling, and they have not been able to close out games versus the top teams. They have recently lost to the Bulls, split with the Thunder and lost twice to the Boston Celtics. The Heat are 6-6 over the past 12 games and have less than two weeks to get back on track if they are to have any chance of winning an NBA championship.