Amare Stoudemire averaged 17.5 points per game last season.
Amare Stoudemire averaged 17.5 points per game last season. Reuters

Hurricane Sandy postponed the New York Knicks original 2012-2013 NBA season debut, as their game with the Brooklyn Nets was canceled on Thursday. Now, the Knicks will begin the year at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks are set to host the Miami Heat on Friday night at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. You can watch a free live stream online at

New York may be one of the most polarizing teams, entering the new season. While some believe they will be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, other feel that they will, once again, underachieve.

If the Knicks want to get off to a hot start, they’ll have to do it without Amare Stoudemire. New York’s starting power forward will miss six to eight weeks with a knee injury. In his absence, Kurt Thomas is schedule to start.

The Knicks big men will face a small Heat starting lineup. Chris Bosh will start at center, while Shane Battier will get the nod at power forward.

While Kurt Thomas will get the call at tip-off, Carmelo Anthony will probably see a lot of time at power forward. In Stoudemire’s absence towards the end of the lockout-shortened season, New York was very successful with Anthony at power forward. Doing so could allow New York to play Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd at the same time.

Coming off a win against the Boston Celtics to begin the season, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade return to a place that they’ve had a lot of success. In James’ last seven regular season games at MSG, he’s averaged 35.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game. Wade is 9-5 in his career at New York.

After last season’s first round playoff series, the Knicks may be looking for a measure of revenge. They lost to Miami in five games.

Betting Line: Miami-6, 198.5

Prediction: Playing without Stoudemire may actually benefit the Knicks. Anthony has performed better with Stoudemire off the court, and could be in line to have a big offensive performance. The addition of Ronnie Brewer should help slow down Wade. As long as New York can keep James, somewhat, in check, they can pull off the upset.

Predicted Score: New York 97, Miami 96