Heat–Knicks rivalry

The Heat–Knicks rivalry is a National Basketball Association (NBA) rivalry between the Miami Heat and New York Knicks. The two teams met in the NBA playoffs four years in a row from 1997–2000, with the Knicks winning three of those series and the Heat winning one. The teams most recently met in the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, which the Heat won in five games.

The Heat–Knicks rivalry was one of the fiercest in the NBA, and Sports Illustrated considered it the third-best NBA rivalry.[1] Prior to the 1997 NBA Playoffs, no two NBA teams had ever met in the playoffs for four consecutive seasons, with each series going to the maximum possible number of games. The aggressive nature of those four series, defensive struggles marked by numerous foul calls, and intensely physical play, can be traced to the highly defensive style of Pat Riley, former coach of both teams and the rivalries' central figure. This 1990s rivalry created some of the most highly anticipated matchups during its short-lived tenure.

Miami Heat wordmark
Miami Heat
KnicksWordmark
New York Knicks
KnicksWordmark

Background

On March 1, 1991, Dave Checketts was named as the team president for the New York Knicks, and hired Riley as head coach for the 1992 season. He turned New York into contenders in a short time, culminating with an Eastern Conference championship in 1994 before losing to Houston in the 1994 NBA Finals, which denied New York from having NBA and NHL championships in the same year, as the Rangers won Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals over the Canucks during the Finals.

Unable to repeat a trip to the Finals in 1995, Riley stepped down as the Knicks' head coach. At the time, many speculated either that he thought the Knicks were no longer a title threat and wanted to move on, or wanted more power. Riley answered that question on September 2, 1995, when he took over as Team President and Head Coach of the Miami Heat. His move caused some controversy, as the Knicks accused Miami of tampering while he was still under contract,[2] which was settled after Miami sent their 1996 first round pick (#19 – Walter McCarty) and $1 million in cash to New York on September 1, 1995. Before the rivalry began the only notable that occurred between the teams was the Heat ending the Knicks 15 game win streak in 1994.

1997–2000: Four consecutive playoff matchups

1997 Eastern Conference Semifinals

In only Riley's second season as Miami's head coach, the Heat dethroned New York as Atlantic Division champions. This set up one of the most dramatic playoff series in NBA history, when these teams met in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The matchup was set up when the Knicks swept the Charlotte Hornets and the Heat needing the full five games to dispose of their in-state rivals the Orlando Magic in the opening round. Game 1, which the Knicks won 88–79, was iced by Ewing's dunk on Mourning. Jamal Mashburn's 3 put Game 2 out of reach and tied the series at 1 with an 88–84 victory. In Game 3 in New York, Ewing went out and blocked a potential game-tying 3 from Tim Hardaway, then secured the loose ball. The Knicks won 77–73. New York won Game 4 89–76, dominating Miami the entire way to gain a 3–1 series lead.

Miami won Game 5 96–81, which was highlighted by a brawl that started when P.J. Brown objected to 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 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 Knicks team that many considered prime to dethrone Chicago. This is up for debate, since many observers questioned why Ward dived toward Brown's legs with the game out of reach in the first place (Also worth noting is the fact that Brown's much taller than Ward). 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 Games 6 and 7 95–90 and 101–90 respectively. The Heat advanced to face the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals, which they lost in 5.

1998 Eastern Conference First Round

Bolstered by last year's results, Miami once again captured the Atlantic Division crown. New York regressed, largely due to Ewing suffering a severely broken wrist that forced him to miss most of the regular season, and only attained the seventh seed in the East. With Chicago again gaining the #1 seed, the Heat were paired against the Knicks in a rematch of their series the year before. Miami won Game 1, 94–79, but the Knicks bounced back and won Game 2, 96–86 to tie the series at 1. Miami won Game 3, 91–85 to take a 2–1 series lead. But New York won Game 4, 90–85, which was highlighted by the fight between Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson (who had been teammates in Charlotte) at the end of the game. Although neither landed a punch, 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's until with over 6 minutes left, the Heat only trailed 72–70. With the momentum and crowd behind them, the Heat seemed poised to overtake New York. However, the Knicks retook the momentum on a sequence consisting of a Ward 3-pointer, an Allan Houston jumper and free throw, and then a fast-break layup by Charles Oakley, on which he was fouled from behind and fell into the stands (this was ruled to be a flagrant, meaning the Knicks shot free throws and retained possession). On the extra possession, Starks hit a 3 that extended the Knicks' lead back up to 13. Miami wouldn't challenge New York the rest of the way, as the Knicks won the series with a 98–81 victory in Miami. New York then lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to Indiana in 5.

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 Bulls quickly fade as an NBA title threat. Miami beat the Pacers and Magic to reach the top of the Eastern Conference. The Knicks only got through the 50-game season with a 27–23 record, barely qualifying for the playoffs as a #8 seed. This put the odds in Miami's favor, as an #8 seed had defeated a #1 seed in the first round just once in NBA history. However, the Knicks defied expectations and won Game 1 95–75 in Miami. The Heat came back with an 83–73 victory in Game 2 to tie the series at 1. Back home for Game 3, New York blew Miami out 97–73 to take a 2–1 series lead. The Knicks had a chance to clinch at home in Game 4, as they held an 8-point lead until Miami charged back to win 87–72 to take it to the limit. Game 5 was a defensive struggle all the way. Miami held a 77–76 lead with 4.5 seconds left, but Allan Houston hit a running 1-hander that bounced off the front rim, off the backboard, and in with 8 tenths left to give New York a 78–77 victory.

The win propelled an improbable run for the Knicks in the playoffs. They swept the Hawks in the semifinals and defeated the Pacers in 6 to clinch their second Eastern Conference Title in five years and advance to the 1999 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Spurs. In doing that, the Knicks became the first 8th-seeded team in NBA history to reach the NBA Finals.

2000 Eastern Conference Semifinals

While the Heat won the Atlantic Division for the 4th year in a row, the Knicks were right on their tail, finishing only two games back and capturing the third seed. After both teams easily swept their opening round series (the Knicks sweeping the Toronto Raptors and the Heat sweeping the Detroit Pistons), the two teams met again in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, in what would be the most evenly matched of all 4 series. The Heat won Game 1 87–83 at home to take a 1–0 series lead, but New York tied the series at 1 with an 82–76 victory in Game 2. Game 3 in New York was one of the series' most notable. Ewing hit a jumper with 2.4 seconds left to force OT. He also made 1 of 2 free throws in the final seconds of OT to give New York a 76–75 lead. On Miami's final possession, rookie Anthony Carter drove from the baseline and launched a tough and maybe illegal shot from behind the backboard. It dropped onto the front rim and fell in with 2.1 seconds left. After a referee's conference, they ruled it counted, despite protests from the Knicks. It won the game for Miami 77–76. The Knicks then won Game 4 91–83 on Charlie Ward's 21 points to tie the series at 2.

Back in Miami for Game 5, the Heat came from behind with a sequence of 3's in the final 2 minutes (2 from Dan Majerle and the last one from Bruce Bowen), and won 87–81. Miami had a chance to clinch the series in Game 6 at Madison Square Garden, but blew a 45–30 halftime lead. New York cut it to 6 in the first 3 minutes of the 3rd quarter. Ewing made a difficult tip-dunk off a missed jumpshot to cut the lead to 2 with 2 minutes left. Allan Houston hit 2 free throws with 22 seconds left 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 after the game, Pat Riley remarked, "This is absolute madness."

In yet another Game 7, the Heat took an 11-point lead in the first half, before the Knicks rallied to make the game close in the final minutes. Tim Hardaway gave Miami an 82–81 lead when he drained a 3 with 1:32 left. The Knicks responded when Alonzo Mourning gambled and attempted a steal on Patrick Ewing. The move failed allowing Ewing an easy dunk .The Heat had a chance in the final seconds to retake the lead, but Clarence Weatherspoon missed a jumper with 7 seconds left, over Marcus Camby 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 won in 6 to advance to the 2000 NBA Finals where they lost to the Lakers.

1997–2000: Notable regular season matchups

In the April 12, 1997 game in Miami, the Knicks led by 3 in the final minute, when Miami guard Sasha Danilovic made what appeared to be a 3 to tie the game. However, referees ruled that Danilovic's foot was on the line, and ruled the basket only a 2. Replays showed that the call was correct, but also very close. The Knicks went on to win the game by 1. Although the Knicks put pressure on the Heat with the victory, Miami hung on and won the Atlantic Division by 4 games.

In the Easter Sunday game in Miami on April 12, 1998, the Knicks trailed 82–81 with 4.2 seconds left 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. Replays later ruled that Houston last touched the ball with 0.2 seconds left 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 the April 25, 1999 game in Miami, 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 the April 9, 2000 game in Miami, a hotly contested game was sent to overtime due to a sequence in which center Patrick Ewing grabbed three offensive rebounds off missed Knick 3-pointers before finally finding point guard Chris Childs who connected on a 3 with only seconds left, tying the game. Miami was unable to score, hence the overtime. In OT, Childs was in the spotlight again. With the Knicks leading 93–92, Childs was intentionally fouled and sent to the line. He made one to give New York a 94–92 lead. The Heat had 4.5 seconds left to inbound from half-court and score. The ball went to point guard Tim Hardaway, who could not shake free from Childs. He ended up forcing a 3 from an awkward angle with Childs covering him tightly. It 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 for the race for 1st in the Atlantic Division.

2000–2010: Decline of the rivalry

In the years following the 2000 playoffs, the rivalry greatly weakened, in the 2000 off season the Knicks traded long time center Patrick Ewing to the Seattle SuperSonics and the Miami Heat traded cornerstones Jamal Mashburn and P.J. Brown to the Charlotte Hornets. 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 effort in every game.

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

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

On January 26, 2007, Knicks guard Jamal Crawford scored a career-high 52 points on 20–30 shooting, including 8 3-pointers, against the Heat en route to a 116–96 victory for New York.[4]

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.

2010–2014: Miami's Big Three

During the summer of 2010, former Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James became a free agent. After being courted by many teams (including both the Knicks and Heat), he announced his decision to join the Miami Heat on national television on July 8, 2010. Much to the frustration of Knicks fans, and the Knicks had spent the last two seasons re-engineering their roster to accommodate James' potential contract. Earlier that week, former Phoenix Suns forward Amar'e Stoudemire announced his intention to sign with the New York Knicks. A new era of the rivalry was born.

On December 17, 2010, the Knicks and Heat met for the first time that season. The Heat won, 113–91, at Madison Square Garden. On February 21, 2011, the Knicks acquired 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. The Knicks and Heat would eventually split the regular season series 2–2.

The Knicks improved in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 NBA season, in part due to the acquisition of point guard Jeremy Lin. The Knicks-Heat game scheduled prior to the All-Star break (the last game for both teams before the break) was billed as giving the rivalry new life, with the average price of resold seats going for $600 and courtside seats going for $8,000.[5] The Heat beat the Knicks 102–88 in Miami, and eventually swept the season series 3–0. The two teams eventually met in the 2012 NBA Playoffs, their first playoff meeting since 2000.

On November 2, 2012, The Knicks' opener against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center was postponed due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy and the damage it caused to New York and New Jersey, such as flooding and leaving millions without power. Thus, the Knicks' first game and home opener of the season ended up being against the Heat. The Knicks beat the Heat 104–84 with Carmelo Anthony scoring 30 points and the Knicks' bench shooting nineteen 3-pointers. Knicks won the next meeting in Miami without Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, or Amar'e Stoudamire. Knicks won the season series 3–1 and were the only team in the regular season to beat the Heat 3 times.

Playoffs

2012 Eastern Conference First Round

Towards the end of the 2011–2012 season, with the Heat in the second seed and the Knicks in the seventh seed, anticipation for the first playoff match in 12 years started to build. Knicks fans started chanting "Beat the Heat" at Madison Square Garden during the second-to-last game of the regular season. Carmelo Anthony acknowledged “The fans know what they want, know what they want to see. Hopefully, they get to see that.”[6] Likewise, Heat guard Dwyane Wade said: “I have been here awhile and I have seen the games that we’ve won against New York and how the people in the organization feel every time. You can tell there is something always there. So, in my mind, we’re playing the Knicks. That’s the mind state that I have and I think I’ve had it for the last week.”[7] The Miami Herald further commented: "the NBA would be hard-pressed to find a better marquee game for its Sunday afternoon slot than the opening game between the Heat and Knicks."[7] After a Knicks victory in the final game of the season, it was finally confirmed that the two teams would play each other in the first round of the 2012 playoffs, with the Miami Herald again commenting: "As first-round series go, it doesn’t get any bigger for the Heat.[8]

The Heat easily defeated the Knicks in Game 1 by 33 points. Game 2 was a much closer affair but the Heat still won by 10 points. In Game 3 in MSG, the Heat found themselves on the wrong end in the first half, trailing by as much as 11 points, before closing in the half with a 7–0 run. The Heat led by 2 after the third quarter. However, LeBron James quickly sparked an 8–0 run to start the fourth quarter, giving them a 10-point lead. The Knicks never recovered. James himself outscored the Knicks in the fourth, 17–14. By losing Game 3, the Knicks set a new league record by losing 13 straight playoff games, their last win coming April 29, 2001, in their series versus the Toronto Raptors.[9] Game 4 was different from the first three games. In the third, Baron Davis injured himself. He left the court on a stretcher. However, led by Carmelo Anthony, who scored 41 points, the Knicks prevented a sweep, 89–87, as Wade missed the potential series-winning three-pointer at the buzzer. In Game 5, the Knicks started strong but it was all Miami the rest of the way. The Heat led by 11 at the end of the first half. The Heat never squandered the lead the rest of the way, effectively sealing the game and the series with a three-pointer by Shane Battier that gave the Heat a 14-point lead with a minute left in the game. The Knicks were led by Anthony's 35. Amar'e Stoudemire, meanwhile, was plagued by foul trouble. He fouled out with about 4 minutes left in the game. The Heat would go on to win the 2012 NBA Finals.

Notes

In all 5 series, Miami had home-court advantage. Also, the winner of the first four 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 1st Round was only best-of-5 at the time).

An interesting twist to the 1990s rivalry, was that Alonzo Mourning and Patrick Ewing both having attended Georgetown University, were 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.

Head to head

The results in parentheses denote playoff games.

Season at Miami Heat
Heat-Knicks
at New York Knicks
Knicks-Heat
Total
Heat-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)
1–3
(4–3)
1997–98 86–82, 82–81
(94–79, 86–96, 81–98)
89–83, 83–80
(85–91, 90–85)
2–2
(2–3)
1998–99 85–84, 80–82
(75–95, 83–73, 77–78)
79–83, 101–88
(97–73, 72–87)
2–2
(2–3)
1999-00 85–76, 95–94
(87–83, 76–82, 87–81, 82–83)
88–94, 94–80
(76–77, 91–83, 72–70)
3–1
(3–4)
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
2011–12 99–89, 102–88
(100–67, 104–94, 106–94 )
85–93
(70–87, 89–87)
3–0
(4–1)
2012–13 92–112, 90–102 104–84, 93–99 1–3
2013–14 92–102, 106–91 82–108, 91–102 3–1
2014–15 86–79, 111–87 95–109 3–0
2015–16 97–78, 90–98 78–95, 81–98 3–1
2016–17 103–114, 94–98 88–105 1–2
2017–18 86–115, 98–122 103–107 (OT), 98–119 2–2
2018–19 106–97, 100–92 87–110 3–0

Statistics

Miami Heat New York Knicks
Total wins 59 70
At Miami Heat 36 30
At New York Knicks 23 40
Regular season wins 44 56
At Miami Heat 26 23
At New York Knicks 18 33
Playoff wins 15 14
At Miami Heat 10 7
At New York Knicks 5 7

See also

References

  1. ^ "NBA's Best Rivalries". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 2010-03-04. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  2. ^ "The Knicks' tamper tantrums are heating up". The Sporting News. 1995.
  3. ^ Video on YouTube
  4. ^ Boxscore
  5. ^ "'It's a showdown': Jeremy Lin phenomenon set to add more spice to Knicks-Heat rivalry". The Washington Post. February 22, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
  6. ^ "Finale Will Resolve Knicks' Playoff Role". The New York Times. April 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
  7. ^ a b "Miami Heat in New York state of mind". April 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
  8. ^ "Miami Heat falls to Wizards, will face New York Knicks in playoffs". April 26, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
  9. ^ "James, Heat pull away to lead 3–0 over Knicks". SI.com. Associated Press. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
1997 NBA playoffs

The 1997 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1996–97 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls defeating the Western Conference champion Utah Jazz 4 games to 2. This was the Bulls' second straight title, and fifth overall (They completed the 3-peat by beating Utah again in 1998). Michael Jordan was named NBA Finals MVP for the fifth time.

This was the first Western Conference title for the Jazz in their 23-year history.

The Miami Heat's run to the Eastern Conference Finals marked the farthest they had reached in the playoffs up to that point; they did not return until 2005, and won the NBA Finals in 2006.

The Minnesota Timberwolves made their playoff debut after failing to win more than 30 games in their first 7 seasons. It was also the first of 7 straight years in which they made the playoffs only to lose in the first round. They were the last of the 1988/89 expansion four to make their playoff debut

This was the first (and so far, only) time since the ABA–NBA merger that the 4 former ABA teams, the San Antonio Spurs, the Denver Nuggets, the Indiana Pacers, and the New Jersey Nets, have all missed the playoffs, even more remarkable considering the rarity with which San Antonio has missed the playoffs at all (only 4 times since the merger).

All four 1988/89 expansion teams (Minnesota, Miami, Orlando and Charlotte) made the playoffs for the first time. This would happen again in 2001.

The two #8 seeds in this tournament, the Washington Bullets and the Los Angeles Clippers, broke long playoff droughts (Bullets eight years, Clippers only just three) with their appearances in the 1997 Playoffs. (The Bullets' last playoff appearance was in 1988; the Clippers in 1993). Unfortunately for both teams, it would be a long time before they made the playoffs again; the renamed Wizards made their return in 2005; the Clippers in 2006). The Bullets qualified by defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in a regular season finale that saw both teams fighting for the #8 seed.Game 4 of the Bulls–Hawks series was the last game ever played at The Omni. The Hawks' home playoff games for 1998 and 1999 were played at the Georgia Dome while the Omni was demolished to make way for Philips Arena, which would open in September 1999.

The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena hosted its final NBA playoff game in Game 3 of the Clippers–Jazz series. When the Clippers returned to the playoffs in 2006, they had moved to the Staples Center, their home since the 1999–2000 season. The Sports Arena remained active until its closure and demolition in 2016.

Game 3 of the Bulls–Bullets series was the last playoff game ever played at the Capital Centre (named USAir Arena at the time). They moved into a new arena the next season.

In addition, the Bullets changed their team name to the Wizards on May 15, making it the last time the team was officially named the "Bullets".

After losing in the Western Conference Finals, the Houston Rockets would not win a playoff series until 2009 and would not return to the Conference Finals until 2015.

Bulls–Knicks rivalry

The Bulls–Knicks rivalry is a rivalry between the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The two basketball teams have played each other every year since the Bulls first joined the NBA in 1966. However, the rivalry began to grow in intensity during the late 1980s and early 1990s, when both teams became huge playoff contenders. This was due to a variety of factors: the great frequency in which the teams competed against each other in high-stakes contests and playoff series; well-known players such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Patrick Ewing, and John Starks; the reputations of the team's respective cities; and personnel changes and conflicts between the teams. The two teams met in the playoffs seven times between 1981 and 1996, with the Bulls winning six of those series.

Hardwood Classics

Hardwood Classics is a television series that airs on NBA TV and features many of the greatest classic games recorded on videotape or film in National Basketball Association history. The show is produced by NBA Entertainment. During its earlier years on NBA TV, the series would air frequently in various timeslots, including at a set time on Thursday afternoons for a number of years. However, as the network has increased its output of originally-produced programming and live game coverage, Hardwood Classics airs more sporadically, with its most frequent airings taking place during the NBA offseason.

List of National Basketball Association rivalries

Throughout more than 70 seasons, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has had many intense rivalries. This article lists some of the famous rivalries in the NBA. Rivalries are classified into three primary groups; intradivisional, interdivisional, and interconference.

Interconference rivalries comprise games between opponents in different conferences. A team plays each opponent from the other conference in one home game and one away game.

Intradivisional rivalries comprise games between opponents in the same division. Since the 2004–05 NBA season, there are 30 teams in six divisions of 5 teams each. Each team plays each division opponent 4 times during the regular season (twice at home, twice away) for a total of 16 games out of 82 total regular season games.

Interdivisional rivalries comprise games between opponents in different divisions but within the same conference. A team plays against each team from the other two divisions in its conference either three or four times. The total interdivisional games an NBA team plays is 36. Conference games are often important, as a team's record in common games, as well as its overall record against its conference, are sometimes used as tiebreakers for playoff seeding at the end of the regular season. Also, many regular season opponents have met again in the playoffs, and the result of a regular season game can affect where the playoff game will be played.

P. J. Brown

Collier "P. J." Brown Jr. (born October 14, 1969) is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m), 239 lb (108 kg; 17.1 st) center/power forward was selected out of Louisiana Tech University by the New Jersey Nets with the 29th overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft, but began his NBA career only in the 1993–94 season. He has been voted into the NBA All-Defensive Second Team three times, in 1997, 1999 and 2001, and won the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2004. He attended Winnfield Senior High School in Winnfield, Louisiana, where he played for the Winnfield Tigers, and has played professionally for the Nets, Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Hornets, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics.

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