Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/27/12

The Knicks will be taking their talents to South Beach.

After a torrid 18-6 finish to the 2011-12 regular season, which was the best 24-game finish in the Eastern Conference, the seventh-seeded Knicks (36-30) will take on the second seed Miami Heat in a star-studded first round playoff series.

It is the official return of a memorable rivalry from the late 1990s, one that heavily favored the Knicks, who won three of the four post-season meetings from 1997-2000.

In 1999, the Knicks pulled off a stunning upset of the top-seeded Heat on a last second shot by Allan Houston in a season that was shortened by a lockout. Could history be repeated?

Baron Davis actually referenced another parallel in his Golden State Warriors team that upset the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in 2007. Davis said that Warriors team had a great deal of confidence going into the playoffs.

"We share the same type of energy here with the Knicks, knowing that nobody is counting us in it to win it," he said.

Davis was one of three starters -- along with Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler -- who sat out the regular season finale in Charlotte. The game was relatively meaningless, as the Knicks had to lose and the Philadelphia 76ers had to win in order to slip to the eighth seed and avoid a first round matchup with Miami. But the 76ers also rested several starters and were blown out in Detroit, thus securing their spot at No. 8 and a first round meeting with the top-seeded Chicago Bulls.

The game in Charlotte actually wasn't entirely meaningless, as it allowed interim coach Mike Woodson to give Amar'e Stoudemire one more game to find his rhythm after missing 13 games with a bulging disc in his lower back. Stoudemire looked very strong, with 21 points in 24 minutes of a 104-84 win.

Aside from Jeremy Lin, who is still recovering from knee surgery, this may be the healthiest the Knicks main players have been all season. After a strong finish and a new defensive-minded identity under Woodson, it's certainly the most confident they have been all season.

"I like our chances against anyone," Stoudemire said. "We feel like we've been playing well under Coach Woodson, so it's going to be a great battle. I think every game we've played against Miami so far (this season) has been a tight one. So it's really anybody's game."

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Enrique Hernandez ties record with three home runs in Game 5

Marshawn Lynch ejected for shoving referee

WATCH: Kristaps Porzingis denies Carmelo Anthony at rim

Aaron Rodgers undergoes surgery to repair broken collarbone

Groundbreaking for Raiders' new Las Vegas stadium set for next month

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Redskins' Jay Gruden throws tremendous praise Carson Wentz's way

Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as manager

Former Cowboys exec: Dak Prescott won't ever be as good as Carson Wentz

Jameis Winston will be full participant in Friday's practice

Tennessee grocery store calls for Butch Jones' firing with amazing cake

Giants owner: McAdoo was not pressured to give up play-calling

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker