Heat–Knicks rivalry

Heat–Knicks rivalry
Miami Heat-New York Knicks
Post Season Meetings 13–11 (NYK)
1997 Eastern Conference Semifinals Heat won, 4–3
1998 Eastern Conference First Round Knicks won, 3–2
1999 Eastern Conference First Round Knicks won, 3–2
2000 Eastern Conference Semifinals Knicks won, 4–3

The Heat-Knicks rivalry was a rivalry between two professional basketball teams, the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks, of the NBA.

Known as one of the fiercest rivalries in recent history, the Heat-Knicks rivalry was derived from their frequent, and frequently long, playoff series. In a SI countdown, it was listed as the NBA's third best rivalry.[1] Prior to their rivalry, there had never been an occasion in the NBA wherein two teams had met in postseason play four consecutive seasons and had seen each series extend to the maximum number of games in each of the four series. The Knicks and Heat thus made history by meeting in the playoffs for the maximum number of games every year from 1997-2000. The aggressive nature of these games—defensive struggles marked by numerous foul calls and intense physical play—can be traced to the highly defensive style of Pat Riley, former coach of both teams and the central figure of the rivalry.



On March 1, 1991 Dave Checketts was named New York Knicks team president, and he hired Pat Riley as head coach for the 1991-92 season. After years as bottom-dwellers and also-rans, Riley turned the Knicks into legitimate title contenders in a short time, culminating with an Eastern Conference Championship in 1994 before an eventual loss to the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals that year, which denied New York from having both NBA and NHL championships in the same year, as the Rangers had won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals over the Vancouver Canucks during the finals.

Unable to repeat a trip to the Finals in 1995, Riley stepped down as the head coach of the Knicks. At the time, many speculated either that Riley thought the Knicks were no longer a legitimate title threat and that he wanted to move on, or that Riley wanted more power in the Knicks organization. Riley answered that question on September 2, 1995, when he took over as Team President and Head Coach of the underachieving Miami Heat. The Heat and the Knicks were both in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Riley's move caused some controversy, as the Knicks accused the Heat of tampering while Riley was still under contract,[2] which was settled after the Heat sent their 1996 first round pick (#19 - Walter McCarty) and $1 million in cash to the Knicks on September 1, 1995.

1997 Eastern Conference Semifinals

In only his second season as Miami's head coach, Riley's Heat dethroned the New York Knicks as Atlantic Division champions. This was the setup for one of the most dramatic playoff series in NBA history, when these teams met in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Knicks raced out to a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series, needing only one victory in the final three games to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in five seasons. Patrick Ewing's emphatic dunk over Alonzo Mourning iced Game 1, which the Knicks won 88-79. Jamal Mashburn's 3-pointer put Game 2 out of reach. With the 88-84 victory, Miami tied the series at 1. In Game 3 at Madison Square Garden, Patrick Ewing made a key play. He came out to the 3-point line to block a potential game-tying 3 from Tim Hardaway and then secured the loose ball. The Knicks won that game 77-73. In Game 4, the Knicks won 89-76, dominating the game the entire way to gain a comfortable 3-1 series lead.

However, the Heat won Game 5 96-81, which was highlighted by a brawl between the two teams that started when Heat power forward P.J. Brown objected to Knick point guard Charlie Ward's attempt to gain position for a rebound. Brown flipped Ward over his head and body-slammed him, and a melee ensued. The Knicks and their fans speculated that Pat Riley told Brown to start a brawl in the hopes that Knicks players would get suspended, since the series was unwinnable against a full-strength Knick team many considered prime to dethrone Chicago. Of course, this is up for debate, since many observers questioned why Ward dived toward Brown's legs (Also worth noting is the fact that Brown's much taller than Ward) with the game out of reach in the first place. During the brawl, Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston, Larry Johnson and John Starks left the bench; the league punished them for this by handing out 1-game suspensions spread out over the series' final 2 games. Ewing, Houston and Ward were suspended for Game 6; Johnson and Starks were suspended for Game 7. Shorthanded by the suspensions, the Knicks lost the last 2 games (95-90 and 101-90 respectively) and the series. The Heat advanced to face the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals, which they lost in 5 games.

1998 Eastern Conference First Round

Bolstered by the previous year's results, the Heat once again captured the Atlantic Division crown. The Knicks, meanwhile, regressed somewhat (largely due to a severely broken wrist suffered by Patrick Ewing early in the season, which forced him to miss the remainder of the regular season) and could only attain the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. With the Bulls again gaining the #1 seed in the conference, the Heat were paired against the Knicks in a rematch of their series the year before. This occurred in the First Round of the 1998 NBA Playoffs, which at the time was a best-of-5 series. The Heat won Game 1 94-79. The Knicks bounced back and won Game 2 96-86 to tie the series at 1. Miami won Game 3 91-85 though, and took a 2-1 series lead. The Knicks won Game 4 90-85, which was highlighted by the fight between Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson at the end of the game (ironically, they were formerly teammates with the Charlotte Hornets). Although neither one of them landed a punch despite their best intentions, the fight famously saw Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy grab on to Mourning's legs in an unsuccessful attempt to break the fight up. The NBA suspended Mourning and Johnson for the fight.

Without Mourning, the Knicks jumped out to a 20-point halftime lead in Game 5. However, Miami chipped away at it in the third and fourth quarters. In the fourth, Tim Hardaway connected on a number of long and improbable 3-point attempts until with over 6 minutes left, the Heat only trailed by 2, 72-70. With the momentum and emotion of the crowd behind them, the Heat seemed poised to overtake the Knicks. However, the Knicks retook the momentum on a sequence consisting of a Charlie Ward steal and layup, a dunk by Allan Houston, and then a fast-break layup by Charles Oakley, on which he was fouled from behind and fell into the stands (this was ruled a flagrant foul, meaning the Knicks shot free throws and kept possession of the ball). On the extra possession, John Starks hit a 3 that extended the Knicks' lead back up to 13. Miami wouldn't challenge the Knicks the rest of the way, as the Knicks won the game and the series with a 98-81 victory in Miami. The Knicks then lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Indiana Pacers in 5 games.

1999 Eastern Conference First Round

The lockout-shortened 1998–99 season saw the Heat try to move past the previous year's playoff disappointment as Michael Jordan's retirement saw the Chicago Bulls quickly fade as an NBA title threat. Miami beat the Pacers and Magic to reach the top of the Eastern Conference. The Knicks could only get through the 50-game season with a 27–23 record, barely qualifying for the playoffs as a #8 seed. This put the odds squarely in the Heat's favor, as only once in NBA history had a #8 seed defeated a #1 seed in the first round. However, the Knicks attempted to defy expectations and took 2 of the first 3 games, including a 20-point blowout in Game 1 and a 24-point victory in Game 3, with a chance to win the series at home in Game 4. The Knicks held an 8-point lead in that game until the Heat came charging back to win 87-72 and set up a decisive 5th game. Game 5 was a defensive struggle all the way, but Miami held a 77-76 lead with 4.5 seconds left. Knick shooting guard Allan Houston proved to be the hero of the deciding game, as he hit a running one-hander that indecisively bounced on the rim before falling with 0.8 seconds in play to give New York a 78-77 victory.

The win propelled an improbable run for the Knicks in the playoffs. They swept the Atlanta Hawks in the semifinals and defeated the Indiana Pacers in six games to clinch their second Eastern Conference Championship in five years and advance to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs. In doing that, the Knicks became the first eighth-seeded team in NBA history to reach the NBA Finals.

2000 Eastern Conference Semifinals

While the Heat would win the Atlantic Division for the fourth year in a row, the Knicks would be right on their tail, finishing only two games back and capturing the third seed in the conference. The two teams met again in the 2000 playoffs, in what would be the most evenly matched of all four series. The teams split the first four games, of which Game 3 in New York was most notable. Patrick Ewing converted a jump shot with just over 2 seconds remaining to force overtime. Ewing also made one of two free throws in the final seconds of overtime to give the Knicks a one-point lead. On Miami's final possession, rookie Anthony Carter drove from the baseline and launched a difficult and perhaps illegal shot from behind the backboard. The shot dropped onto the front rim and fell in with 2.1 seconds remaining. After a referee's conference, they ruled the basket counted, despite protests from the Knicks. The shot turned out to be the game-winner. The Knicks would tie the series in Game 4 on Charlie Ward's surprising 21 points and a raucous Garden crowd chanting "Char-lie, Char-lie."

Back in Miami for Game 5, the Heat came from behind with a sequence of three-pointers in the final two minutes (two from Dan Majerle and the final one from Bruce Bowen), and won the game 87-81. Miami had a chance to clinch the series in game six at Madison Square Garden, but blew a 45-30 halftime lead. This 15-point lead was cut to 6 in the first 3 minutes of the 3rd quarter. Patrick Ewing made a difficult follow-dunk off a missed jumpshot to cut the lead to 2 with 2 minutes left in the game. Allan Houston hit two free throws with 22 seconds remaining to give the Knicks a 72-70 lead. Anthony Carter missed a 3 at the buzzer that would have won the series. In a press conference at the game, Pat Riley remarked, "This is absolute madness."

In yet another winner-take-all game, the Heat took an 11-point lead in the first half, before the Knicks rallied to make the game close in the final minutes. Heat point guard Tim Hardaway gave Miami a 82-81 lead when he drained a 3 with 1:32 left. The Knicks responded when Patrick Ewing beat Alonzo Mourning on the baseline for a dunk with just over a minute remaining for an 83-82 lead. The Heat had a chance in the final seconds to reclaim the lead, but Heat forward Clarence Weatherspoon missed a jump shot with 7 seconds left, giving the Knicks another playoff series victory over Miami. The Knicks advanced to an Eastern Conference Finals rematch with the Pacers, but this time Indiana would win the series in 6 to advance to the NBA Finals.

Memorable regular season contests

In an April 12 game played in Miami in 1997, the Knicks led by 3 in the final minute when Miami guard Sasha Danilovic made what appeared to be a three pointer to tie the game, however referees ruled that Danilovic's foot was on the three point line, and ruled the basket only a two pointer. Replays showed the call was in fact correct, but also very close. The Knicks went on to win the game by 1 point. Although they were putting pressure on the Heat with the victory, Miami was able to hang on and win the Atlantic Division by 4 games.

In an Easter Sunday game played in Miami on April 12, 1998, the Knicks trailed by one point with 4.2 seconds remaining and the ball at half-court. Terry Cummings received an inbounds pass and shot a short leaner on the baseline that hit the rim and bounced away. Several tips ensued from players on both teams positioned by the basket. The sequence ended when Allan Houston tipped the ball in at the buzzer for an apparent game-winner, however the referees ruled it to be after the buzzer and awarded the game to Miami by the score of 82-81. Replays later ruled that Houston last touched the ball with 0.2 seconds remaining and the basket should have counted. Jeff Van Gundy and the Knicks protested the game's outcome but were denied by the league office.

In an April 25 game played in Miami in 1999, the Heat took a 20 point lead on the Knicks in the first half and maintained it well into the 2nd half. The game entered the 4th quarter with Miami still up by 16, but the Knicks came back, outscoring the Heat 34-16 in the final quarter to win 82-80 and help jump start the slumping Knicks, who were only 22-21 at this time, to a final surge which would lead to them capturing the #8 seed in the playoffs and eventually defeat top-seeded Miami in the first round that year.

In an April 9 game played in Miami in 2000, a hotly contested game was sent to overtime due to a sequence in which center Patrick Ewing grabbed three offensive rebounds off missed Knick three pointers before finally finding point guard Chris Childs who connected on a three point attempt with only seconds left, tying the game. Miami was unable to score, hence the overtime. In the extra session, Childs was in the spotlight again. With the Knicks leading 93-92, Childs had been intentionally fouled by the Heat and sent to the free throw line. He made only one of two free throws, making the lead 94-92. The Heat now had 4.5 seconds remaining to inbound from half court and score. The ball went to point guard Tim Hardaway, who could not shake free from Chris Childs. Hardaway ended up forcing a 3 from an awkward angle with Childs covering him tightly. The shot improbably went in at the buzzer, giving Miami a bedlam-inducing 95-94 win. This game was seen as the game in which the Heat pulled away from the Knicks for the race for 1st in the Atlantic Division.

After the rivalry

In recent years, this rivalry has been greatly weakened, with the recent struggles of the Knicks franchise and the turnover of the Miami Heat to a new crop of players and transformation into title winners. However, in its prime this rivalry was very physical and marked by low-scoring, defensive-oriented affairs, with players on both teams giving their best efforts in every game.

However, some notable games between the Knicks and Heat have taken place in recent years.

On March 15, 2005, Heat guard Dwyane Wade hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer against the Knicks in New York to beat them 98–96.[3][4]

On January 26, 2007, Knicks guard Jamal Crawford scored a career-high 52 points on 20 of 30 shooting, including 8 three-pointers, against the Miami Heat en route to a 116–96 victory for New York.[5]

On February 28, 2009, Dwyane Wade scored 24 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Heat overcome a 16-point second-half deficit to defeat the Knicks 120–115. Wade's late-game heroics were catalyzed by some rough-housing at the hands of Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari, who accidentally elbowed Wade in the face causing his lip to bleed without a foul being called. Then Al Harrington knocked down Wade while trying to go to the rim.

On April 12, 2009, Dwyane Wade scored a career-high 55 points against the Knicks at the American Airlines Arena. His performance was one point shy of the Miami Heat record set by Glen Rice's 56-point outburst against the Orlando Magic on April 15, 1995.

On July 8, 2010, Lebron James made his decision to join the Heat, when much speculation had been that he would sign with the Knicks. The Knicks had spent the last two seasons re-engineering their roster to accommodate James' potential contract.

On December 17, 2010, Amar'e Stoudemire and the New York Knicks went head to head in their first meeting against the Miami Heat along with the Big 3 (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh) in a losing effort of 113–91 against the Heat in Madison Square Garden.

On January 27, 2011 in the third meeting of the season vs the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden the Miami Heat lost 93–88.

Recently the rivalry has been reignited in light of the Knicks acquisition of All-Star Small Forward Carmelo Anthony in a three team trade involving the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves. On February 27, 2011, The Knicks faced the Heat at Miami for the first time since acquiring Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups and won 91–86.


In all 4 playoff series, Miami had home-court advantage. Also, the winner of each series wasn't decided until the waning moments of each final game, with both teams playing all 24 possible playoff games against one another over the 4-year span (in '98 and '99 the first-round was only best-of-5 at the time).

A side note to this fierce and bitter rivalry is that the two best players, Alonzo Mourning and Patrick Ewing, were actually close friends off the court and managed to keep their friendship strong throughout the rivalry, often having dinner together after every game. Mourning admitted it was difficult to remain friendly during this time in which he frequently lost to his friend/mentor, Ewing.

Much of the rivalry's passion can be attributed to the number of transplanted New Yorkers who live in South Florida and who nonetheless hold an allegiance to their hometown. This usually results in crowds with disproportionate numbers of fans cheering for the visitors (compared to the partisanship seen in most other home venues). This also applies to a certain extent to other New York/Miami rivalries, such as the ones between the NFL's Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, the NHL's Florida Panthers and New York Rangers and Major League Baseball's Florida Marlins and New York Mets, and New York Yankees when the Marlins defeated the Yanks in the 2003 World Series.

Head to head

The results in parentheses denote playoff games.

Season at Miami Heat
at New York Knicks
1988-89 107-103 132-123 1-1
1989-90 94-100, 128-121, 90-106 119-99, 116-107, 119-102 1-5
1990-91 94-104, 107-86, 92-108 109-90, 125-121, 1-4
1991-92 107-93, 102-104 98-81, 122-91, 105-88 1-4
1992-93 105-108, 107-123, 97-109 91-87, 104-82 0-5
1993-94 96-85, 100-86 119-87, 110-87 2-2
1994-95 95-104, 87-96 111-122, 100-91, 112-99 1-4
1995-96 79-88, 103-95 89-70, 94-85 1-3
1996-97 85-103, 99-100
(79-88, 88-84, 96-81, 101-90)
75-99, 95-89
(77-73, 89-76, 90-95)
1997-98 86-82, 82-81
(94-79, 86-96, 81-98)
89-83, 83-80
(85-91, 90-85)
1998-99 85-84, 80-82
(75-95, 83-73, 77-78)
79-83, 101-88
(97-73, 72-87)
1999-00 85-76, 95-94
(87-83, 76-82, 87-81, 82-83)
88-94, 94-80
(76-77, 91-83, 72-70)
2000-01 100-103, 81-76 81-84, 76-74, 86-83 2-3
2001-02 100-86, 67-94 83-74, 83-94 2-2
2002-03 92-97, 82-80 84-92, 72-65 2-2
2003-04 80-100, 64-76 102-73, 77-85 1-3
2004-05 102-94, 97-82 110-116, 96-98 4-0
2005-06 107-94 83-103, 100-111 3-0
2006-07 76-100, 101-83 116-96, 99-93 1-3
2007-08 88-84, 88-91 72-75, 103-96 2-2
2008-09 120-115, 122-105 120-115 2-1
2009-10 115-93 87-93, 98-111 3-0
2010-11 106-98, 86-91 91-113, 93-88 2-2


Miami Heat New York Knicks
Total wins 51 67
At Miami Heat 31 29
At New York Knicks 20 38
Regular season wins 40 54
At Miami Heat 24 22
At New York Knicks 16 32
Playoff wins 11 13
At Miami Heat 7 7
At New York Knicks 4 6


See also

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bulls–Knicks rivalry — Chicago Bulls New York Knicks History Post Season Meetings 22 12 (CHI) 1989 Eastern Conference Semifinals Bulls won, 4–2 1991 Eastern Conference First Round Bulls won, 3–0 1992 Eastern Conference Semifinals …   Wikipedia

  • Bulls-Knicks rivalry — In 1992, the Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were on their way to their second straight title when they met up with the physical play of the New York Knicks led by Patrick Ewing in the second round of the Eastern Conference …   Wikipedia

  • Knicks-Pacers rivalry — During the 1990s, both the New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers were perennial playoff teams. The Knicks, led by All Star center Patrick Ewing, met with the Reggie Miller led Pacers in the playoffs six times from 1993 to 2000, fueling a rivalry …   Wikipedia

  • Miami Heat — 2011–12 Miami Heat season Conference …   Wikipedia

  • Knicks-Heat rivalry — The Knicks Heat rivalry was a rivalry between two professional basketball teams, the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat, of the National Basketball Association.Known as one of the fiercest rivalries in recent history, the Knicks Heat rivalry was… …   Wikipedia

  • Bulls–Heat rivalry — Chicago Bulls Miami Heat History Post Season Meetings 17 9 (CHI) 1992 Eastern Conference First Round Bulls won, 3–0 1996 Eastern Conference First Round Bulls won, 3–0 1997 Eastern Conference Finals …   Wikipedia

  • Bulls–Pistons rivalry — Chicago Bulls Detroit Pistons History Post Season Meetings 16–12 (DET) 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals Pistons won, 4–1 1989 Eastern Conference Finals Pistons won, 4–2 1990 Eastern Confe …   Wikipedia

  • New York Knicks — Knicks redirects here. For other uses of the word, see Knickerbocker (disambiguation). New York Knicks 2011–12 New York Knicks season …   Wikipedia

  • List of Miami Heat seasons — This is a list of seasons completed by the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. NBA Champions Conference Champions Division Champions Qualified for Playoffs Season Heat season Conference Division Finish Wins Losses Win% …   Wikipedia

  • Miami Heat draft history — Dwyane Wade won the NBA Finals MVP in route to helping the Heat win its first NBA Championship. The Miami Heat are an American professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida. They play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”