Any Yankees fan rooting for the Knicks has the horrors of 2004 replaying in a loop in their mind. Personally, I’ve never taken a loss more to heart than that October debacle. Before it was ever over, it was the type of series that gave you a sick feeling of doubt in your stomach, even on off days. With the Knicks recent slide against the Celtics, a lot of New Yorkers are hitting the panic button, but fear not, history is on the Knicks side.
In NBA history, no team up 3-0 has ever lost a series. Now, this doesn’t mean it can’t happen (there’s a first time for everything), but the statistics are on the Knicks side. The most important thing for them is to stay composed and confident in what got them to this point of the season. Even if they lose in Boston on Friday, the sky is not falling. Three times teams trailing 3-0 in a playoff series have forced a Game 7 and three times they’ve come up just short.
2003 PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
The 2003 NBA Playoffs were a last hurrah for a Trail Blazer era that always seemed to come up just short in challenging the Lakers for Western Conference supremacy. In the first season where the best of seven in the first round was implemented, they entered the postseason as the sixth seed that year and faced an uphill battle against Dirk Nowizki, Steve Nash, and the frantic-paced Mavericks. Dallas jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but must’ve forgot about the new ruling. Luckily, the Mavs were able to take care of business on their home floor in the deciding game.
1994 DENVER NUGGETS
This Nuggets team goes down in the history books as the first eight seed to upset a number one when they rallied back from a 2-0 deficit in a best of five to dethrone Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, and the Seattle Supersonics. They almost pulled off the impossible in the next round too.
The Western Conference Semifinals pitted the Nuggets, one of the youngest teams at the time, against the Stockton-to-Malone Utah Jazz. Denver battled back after digging themselves a 3-0 hole, even winning a double-overtime thriller in Utah. Despite their efforts, you can all guess what happened come Game 7.
1951 NEW YORK KNICKS
Being on a Knicks blog, you had to know some mention was coming eventually. The 1951 NBA Finals saw the Rochester Royals triumph over the Knicks, but it wasn’t a smooth ride. The Royals squandered their 3-0 series lead and New York came within just four points of taking home Game 7. There is no readily available footage of their matchup with Rochester, but the Knicks were led by Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton and Dick McGuire.