Weird Stuff Happens When The Knicks & Heat Meet In The Playoffs

Weird Stuff Happens When The Knicks & Heat Meet In The PlayoffsThe heavily favored Miami Heat currently hold a 3-0 series lead over the New York Knicks, in their first round NBA playoff matchup, with Game 4 scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

The biggest story of the series took place after Game 2, when a distraught Amar'e Stoudemire decided to punch through fire extinguisher glass, resulting in a large laceration on the palm of his left hand.

The New York big man is listed as doubtful for Sunday's potentially series ending contest, after already having to sit out Game 3.

Bizarre actions of this nature seem to be the norm when these franchises meet in the playoffs.

The height of the rivalry took place in the late 90's, when a Pat Riley coached Heat team, led by Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning, always seemed to run into Jeff Van Gundy's Knicks squad of Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell.

The teams met in four straight postseasons, from 1997-2000, with New York winning three of the four meetings ('98, '99, '00).

In 1997, with the Knicks up 3-1 in the series, the famous Game 5 fight involving P.J. Brown and Charlie Ward resulted in the subsequent suspensions of Ewing, Houston, John Starks and Larry Johnson, causing New York to lose the rivalry's inaugural playoff battle.

In 1998, Johnson and Mourning were suspended for an even more famous fight. That incident, which took place at the end of Game 4, is of course best remembered for the classic video of little Jeff Van Gundy grabbing the leg of Mourning, in a completely futile attempt to break up the altercation.

In 1999, the eighth seeded Knicks stunned the top seeded Heat, when Allan Houston's awkward one-handed shot found its way into the hoop, just prior to the buzzer sounding in the series' fifth and deciding game at the old Miami Arena.

After the 2000 season, the rivalry really cooled off, with the Knicks in particular falling off the map for the next several years.

Over the last two seasons, the rivalry has rekindled a bit after LeBron James spurned the Knicks, choosing instead to “take his talents to South Beach.” The Knicks of course ended up with Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony for their troubles.

If history is any indication, these franchises will probably continue to be on a collision course for many years to come.