The 2014 NBA live streaming and televised games schedule reveals a battle between two Eastern Conference teams at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the playoff chase. LeBron James and the Miami Heat are currently among the elite teams of the East and chasing their third-straight NBA trophy, while Carmelo Anthony and the NY Knicks continue to struggle, leaving fans to wonder if they're playing for the postseason, or a high draft pick in the 2014 NBA draft. The two teams collide Thursday night, with the latest televised and live stream NBA game available through the TNT sports networks.
According to NY Daily News on Jan. 9, tonight’s game features a New York Knicks team which is struggling heavily, and right now J.R. Smith is at the center of their issues and potential trade talks. Smith was recently fined $50,000 by the league for his antics where he was untying shoe laces of opposing players at the free throw line. His coach, Mike Woodson ripped the guard over the unsportsmanlike conduct, telling the media with regards to any further punishment by the team:
“I don't know what (the recourse) is going to be at this point, but it's got to stop. I don't condone things that I know you shouldn't do. No, I'm not happy about this. Because again, he was warned, he comes back and he makes the same mistake, and it's not right. I just got the information, I'm going to address it tomorrow when he comes in here for work, because it's unacceptable. It really is.
It's unprofessional. That's the only word I can use. Or two words. You just can't do that. You just cannot do it.”
Smith used the tactic twice, with the first offense coming during a game against the Mavericks where he untied a shoelace on Shawn Marion. The second offense was more of an attempt as Smith failed to untie Greg Monroe’s shoelace in a Knicks’ win over the Detroit Pistons. The fines for Smith since joining the team have now totaled over $100,000, and also include “hostile and inappropriate” tweets he made towards Pistons guard Brandon Jennings. Smith is currently averaging 11.3 points, 3 assists and 4.5 rebounds off the bench behind starter Ian Shumpert. Smith was called upon more in a recent injury situation involving star Carmelo Anthony.
While things appear to be going well with the Miami Heat at 27-8 overall, they sit second place in the Eastern Conference, right behind the Pacers. Every win continues to be crucial for this team, in search of that third-straight title. Home court advantage could make or break their hopes of achieving that in the 2013-14 postseason. Dwyane Wade talked to the media about why his team has had to make comebacks to win in four of their last six wins, saying:
"We're an old team, man. It takes us a while sometimes to get the juices flowing. Playing against a lot of young teams, they come in loose, ready. We've got to get our body going a little bit."
Tonight’s could provide an opportunity for them to control the game from the start. The Heat currently are fifth in the NBA in both points and assists per game, and then seventh in points allowed. Their defense currently limits opponents to just 97.9 points per game. The New York Knicks average 94.9 points a game, close to the bottom of the basement for the NBA’s worst-scoring teams. They’ll look to superstar Carmelo Anthony to have yet another top performance against his adversary in LeBron James. According to ESPN.com, Melo has averaged 38.5 points in the last four games against Miami in the regular season.
Odds makers are giving the Miami Heat the role of favorites tonight, as many fans would expect. The line opened in their favor by 6 1/2-points before rising to as much as 8 1/2 points. The over/under for total points for the game opened at 198 1/2 and has since fallen as low as 196 points for the game. Dwyane Wade is listed as questionable for tonight’s game, while New York has multiple players listed as “day-to-day” including Andrea Bargnani, Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire. Metta World Peace and Raymond Felton are out for New York.
Thursday night's NBA game featuring the Heat vs. Knicks has a scheduled start time of 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The game will be televised for cable and satellite viewers in standard and hi-definition on TNT. Additionally, the TNT Overtime website will allow viewers around the country the ability to watch tonight's game live streaming online through unique camera feeds on the court. The free site also gives fans a chance to vote on which player they'd like to see a camera focused on during the first quarter of the game. Don't be too surprised if LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony win that vote. See more info here at the official site for how to watch tonight's game.