NBA Odds — Johnson Joins Heat as They Face Knicks

NBA Odds -- Johnson Joins Heat as They Face Knicks

The Miami Heat are in a very spirited battle for playoff position in the Eastern Conference, so they have just reached out for some help. Their Sunday night game against the New York Knicks may be a little too early to get it to any significant extent, but the acquisition of Joe Johnson may have its initial effect in this game that is set to begin at 7:35 PM ET at Madison Square Garden. BetAnySports customers don’t have to stop their wagering at the opening tipoff, however; they can continue challenging the NBA odds in real time as they make use of the software provided by Live Betting Extra.

If the season ended right now, the Heat would have the home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, by virtue of their #4 spot in the East. But this is a tenuous position at best, because they are only 2.5 games ahead of the Detroit Pistons, who are all the way back in NINTH place. With the prospect of losing Chris Bosh for the rest of the season with a blood clot in his left leg, the Heat sought to make a proactive personnel move, and Johnson, a seven-time All-Star who had his contract bought out by the Brooklyn Nets for the purposes of waiving him, fell into their hands. Word is that he was heavily recruited by Dwyane Wade.

In the reduced juice NBA odds that have been established on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Miami is a slight favorite:

Miami Heat -1.5 (-107) New York Knicks +1.5 (-103)

Over 197 points -102 Under 197 points -108

If the Cleveland Cavaliers are indeed vulnerable, the Heat (32-26 SU, 30-27-1 ATS) might have as good a chance as anyone to be the team to come out of the East, IF Bosh was healthy. But as Bosh seeks further medical opinion, they must make plans to move forward without him.

The Knicks have been a disappointment after what was a very encouraging start, in which they introduced rookie Kristaps Porzingis, a sleek seven-foot forward who can hit from the outside and reminds some people of Dirk Nowitzki. After Phil Jackson had a disastrous first season as a team executive, contending for a playoff spot in the East appeared to be a moral victory at the very least. But the wheels came off after they split the first 44 games. A slump, combined with controversies surrounding head coach Derek Fisher, forced Jackson to make a change, and now Kurt Rambis is in the interim position.

Carmelo Anthony leads the team in points, rebounds and assists – the only player in the NBA to hold that distinction – and that is not a good sign, considering his reputation as a “me first” player. Yesterday he missed practice, along with Porzingis and Aaron Afflalo, as he was nursing a sore knee.

Miami may be suiting up Johnson for the first time, although he would have to make something of an adjustment if he is to come off the bench. He would be quite a sixth man, though, and Wade knew that, which is why, in his words, “I tried to do my best to paint the picture that this is a good place to be.” There is a need for more depth in the backcourt, as Beno Udrih’s season is over with a foot injury.

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