Looking Back at the Miami Heat-New York Knicks Postseason Rivalry

Joseph BeguiristainContributor IIApril 27, 2012

Looking Back at the Miami Heat-New York Knicks Postseason Rivalry

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    The Miami Heat and New York Knicks will square off in one of the most anticipated first-round playoff series in a while. The history between the two teams in the postseason is unlike any other in the NBA.

    Yes, the Knicks lost all three games against the Heat in the regular season, but you know how teams play at a different level in the playoffs.

    This will be the first time that the two have met in the postseason since 2000. That year was the fourth year in a row that the two met in the playoffs. The Heat bested the Knicks in 1997, but from 1998 to 2000 the Knicks eliminated the Heat from contention.

    Read on for the intense rivalry that is Heat and Knicks.

1997 Eastern Conference Semifinals

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    In 1997, the second-seeded Miami Heat defeated the third-seeded New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Knicks jumped out to a 3-1 series lead, even though Miami had home-court advantage.

    The Heat, led by point guard Tim Hardaway and center Alonzo Mourning, proceeded to win the last three games of the series to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

    Little did they know, the Knicks would get payback for that series in three consecutive years.

1998 Eastern Conference First Round

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    In 1998, the Knicks nabbed the seventh seed with Patrick Ewing sidelined most of the season, while the Heat got the second seed for the second straight year.

    Ewing severely broke his wrist and didn’t play the first round against the Heat. It looked as though the Heat were going to eliminate the Knicks again, but to no avail.

    Game 4 featured the infamous fight between Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson (shown above) which got both of them suspended for Game 5. The Knicks won that game, 98-81, on Miami’s home floor. Allan Houston led the way for the Knicks in that game, scoring 30 points on 48 percent shooting.

    A year later, everybody would know the name Allan Houston.

    *Note: The first round of the NBA playoffs was a best of five series until 2003.*

1999 Eastern Conference First Round

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    The 1999 first-round matchup doesn’t need any explanation besides “the Allan Houston series.”

    The Miami Heat entered as the top seed in the East whereas the Knicks barely made the playoffs with the eighth seed. That didn’t stop the Knicks from beating the Heat in five games like the year before.

    *Note: The first round of the NBA playoffs was a best of five series until 2003.*

2000 Eastern Conference Semifinals

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    In 2000 the Knicks were better than they were in 1999, but the Heat continued to beat themselves as they gave up big lead after big lead in this series.

    At this point, it was clear that the Knicks had the Heat’s number.

    In the Game 7 clincher, Knicks small forward Latrell Sprewell led the way with 24 points and five assists.

Looking Ahead

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    As you can see, there is a storied rivalry between the Heat and Knicks. You may think that the history doesn’t hold much weight today and while that may be true, these two teams know about the rivalry. Heat superstar LeBron James is an NBA history buff and Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony grew up in New York.

    The NBA is obviously very different than what it was 12 years ago, but the names on the front of the jerseys are still the same. This series will be nostalgic for the fans and good for the NBA.

    Not to mention, it's always a treat whenever good friends LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony face each other.

    Knicks interim head coach Mike Woodson has resurrected this Knicks squad that was aimless with Mike D’Antoni at the helm.

    Meanwhile, the Heat are looking to finally silence their critics by winning an NBA championship.

    LeBron James recently said in an interview with SI that he has “put everything into this season.”

    Everything will be on the line in the playoffs and it’s time for the Heat to get payback 12 years later.

     

    *Note: This article was also published on my personal website.*