Kevin Durant just cannot catch a break. The league's most prolific scorer is about to complete a historic 50-40-90 shooting season, one of the most amazing in NBA history. Yet LeBron James from the Miami Heat is considered to be the unanimous choice for MVP.
At least Durant was locked in to win the league's scoring title for a fourth consecutive season. It would serve as a nice consolation prize for the league's most dangerous scorer, who had led the NBA in that category for most of the regular season.
However, a late-season surge from New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony has threatened to take the title away from the Oklahoma City superstar. Durant's scoring average of 28.3 points per game as of April 9, 2013 has been eclipsed by Anthony, who holds a narrow lead at 28.6 points per game.
At its inception in 1993, AND1 set out to change the landscape of basketball by bringing those in the shadow, into the spotlight. They brought notoriety to those who innovated on the court, stayed true to their style, and exuded passion for the game that was contagious. AND1 created a brand of basketball that became instantly iconic in the 90’s. The Mix Tapes became an immediate craze, showcasing streetballers and ballhandling, and eventually, some of the best dunkers in America. People like Air Up There, Helicopter, and Spyda were creators in this space, throwing down unimaginable dunks and inspiring kids everywhere to perfect their 'around the world' move. Off the court, the brand’s popularity skyrocketed. Everybody owned one of the “Trash Talk” t-shirts with sayings like “Check the want ads, your game needs work” across the front. In 2000, the AND1 Tai Chi shoes were arguably the most popular at the time, especially after Vince Carter wore them while putting on a clinic at the Slam Dunk Contest that year.
With three regular season wins against the Miami Heat, could the New York Knicks be the ones to stop the current NBA Champions from repeating?
Stranger things have happened.
Tuesday's 102-90 victory in Miami was the third time the Knicks have beaten the Heat by double-digits this season, the other two by an impressive 20 points. While this game saw the Heat air on the side of caution with their stars LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, who were both rested to ensure their health is at full capacity for the Playoffs, their performances against the Knicks this season should give Heat fans cause for concern.
The Knicks match up well against the Heat without question. They have a solid interior presence with Tyson Chandler who can guard Chris Bosh. They have Iman Shumpert, who has taken his time to get back into NBA conditioning following a serious ACL injury, but is now considered one of the elite perimeter defenders in the league once again and will be given the responsibility of guarding two-time NBA Champion Dwayne Wade.
Then there's the matchup everyone will be salivating over if the Knicks/Heat rivalry is to continue in the post-season.
LeBron James and the rest of the Heat took one of their days off last week to record a Harlem Shake video, which immediately went viral. One would think that with so much goofing around on their off days can't always translate to on-court success, but the Heat just keep on rolling. After getting past the Orlando Magic on Wednesday evening they now have extended their win streak to sixteen games. They are by far the best team in the NBA right now with everyone contributing behind MVP-candidate James. They look for win number seventeen tonight against a 76ers team looking to find its identity and also get back into the playoff mix.