Guarantees, Implants, and Quentin Grimes…The Knicks Head to Miami

Game five was the Jalen Brunson show. Brunson played every single second with the Knicks facing elimination, and he responded with an efficient 38 points on 10-of-12 free throws. Brunson also had a team-high seven assists, with only one turnover. The last player not named Jimmy Butler to play 48 minutes of a non-overtime postseason game and have no more than one turnover was Ray Allen in the 2008 Finals- safe to say that the local kid is playing with his heart on his sleeve. Game six will be played in South Beach, where the crypto runs wild, and the breasts resemble the pair of Air Jordans I wore in middle school…fake. But more importantly, South Beach is a place where the Heat thrive. Over the regular season, the Heat went 32-15 at home and 28-12 as a home favorite, in large part thanks to the fact Jimmy Butler averages 24.2 points per game at the Kaseya Center.

Speaking of the Heat’s star forward, Playoff Jimmy better show up on Friday night because he’s already guaranteed a Miami win. While Butler has received most of the media coverage for the Heat’s success (deservedly so, as he had one of the greatest playoff performances in recent memory against Milwaukee), it is their balance that makes the Heat such a dangerous team. If Jimmy Butler has to drop forty points, he can. If they need to hit a bunch of 3-pointers, they’re capable. When it’s time for Bam Adebayo to shut down the paint, he will. Butler may be one of the greatest scorers of his generation, but Kyle Lowry, Kevin Love, and Adebayo are just as dangerous, with a lot of playoff experience. This team was built to handle pressure (kind of like a Spirit Airlines seat leaving the Midwest). Miami played in 54 games during the regular season that were within five points in the final five minutes. They won 32 of them. Miami isn’t necessarily great at anything, but they are good at everything. 

With one more win, the Heat can become the first No. 8-seeded team to reach a conference finals since the 1999 Knicks. The only man who can stop them? Quentin Grimes. New York head coach Tom Thibodeau went with a starting lineup change for Game 4, re-inserting Quentin Grimes back into the opening lineup alongside Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett, and Mitchell Robinson. Grimes played all 48 minutes in Game 5 alongside Jalen Brunson, and when their three co-starters joined those two, the Knicks outscored the Heat 51-34 in 21 minutes. Just like Game 4, all other Knicks lineups in Game 5 were outscored by eight points by the Heat. Grimes doesn’t light it up on the scoreboard, and he’s not the flashiest player, but his defensive tenacity makes him the spark plug that electrifies a classic Tom Thibodeau team. At one point, he even locked down Jimmy Butler on one leg!

The Heat come into game six -5 point favorites, but much like their fans, the Knicks will not go down quietly. New York won 17 of their 34 games as a road underdog this year, and I expect that number to tick up to 18 tomorrow night. By the way, Memorial Day weekend is around the corner, and I’m sure between the disappointing number you saw on your tax return and the drinks you’ll need to consume to forget how annoying your girlfriend’s sister is, you could use some free cash. Place your first $5 bet to get $150 in Bonus Bets with my friends at the FanDuel Sportsbook. Help me help you.