The Miami Heat will look to close out their first round playoff series against the New York Knicks on Sunday, as the Heat will play Game 4 with a decisive 3 games to none lead in the best-of-7 series. The playoff history between these two teams has been intense, with them meeting four straight years from 1997-2000. Each of those series' went the distance, with a deciding game giving the winner access to the next round.
All of those series' were physical, intense and pretty much everything you could want from a playoff rivalry, but this season has been nothing like that. Miami has dominated the Knicks thus far, winning each game by an average of 20.0 points. Meanwhile, New York hasn't won a playoff game since 2001, an NBA-long streak of 13 games that they hope to break against Miami.
It's not going to be easy for the Knicks, who have lost their best perimeter defender in Iman Shumpert and their extremely talented power forward Amare Stoudemire to injuries. Should the Heat take care of business, this series will go down as one of the more dominant 4-game sweeps in NBA playoff history.
Miami has won the first three games by an average score of 97-77. Only two other playoff sweep has been won by an average margin of more then 20 points, the most recent one coming in 2010. That year, the Orlando Magic swept the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, winning each game by an average of 25.3 points per game.
The other dominant sweep came in 2001 when the Los Angeles Lakers dismantled the San Antonio Spurs in four games by an average margin of victory of 22.3 points. The Heat will very likely get a last-ditch effort by the Knicks, but if Miami is playing at their best, which they tend to do in the playoffs, then New York is in a whole heap of trouble.