BOSTON -- The Knicks franchise hasn't had much playoff success in the past decade. Neither has its franchise player.
But that can change on Sunday afternoon if Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks complete a first-round sweep of the Celtics.
"To be honest with you, to accomplish that would be spectacular," Anthony said late Friday night. "It would be a dream come true. I've never swept anybody."
Anthony's playoff history has been littered with disappointment. He's lost in the first round of his first two postseasons as a Knick, going just 1-8 in the process. And he failed to make it out of the first round in six of seven playoff runs in Denver (Anthony reached the Western Conference final in 2009).
He has a chance, though, to write a new script this spring.
The Knicks are up 3-0 against the Celtics and seem to be in position to make a deep playoff run.
"It feels good to be sitting in this situation, to be sitting in the driver's seat right now," Anthony said after scoring 26 points in the Knicks' 90-76 Game 3 win in Boston. "We want to close the deal, we want to seal the deal come Sunday. Ain't no ifs, ands or buts about that."
The Knicks have smoked the Celtics through three games. They've held Boston to just 225 total points, the lowest three-game playoff total in franchise history. The Knicks' bench has outscored the Celtics' reserves, 90-33. And New York has won the turnover battle, averaging just 11 turnovers through three games compared to 17 from the Celtics.
"We're just doing what we're supposed to do," Anthony said. "So we want to keep it going. The guys that we have in this locker room, in the hotel, you look at guys and guys are hungry. We really want this and we feel like it's right here in the palm of our hands."
The Knicks haven't won a playoff series in 13 seasons. They went 10 straight years without a single playoff victory. With Friday's win in Boston, New York snapped an eight-game road losing streak. With one more victory, they can win their first playoff series since the 2000 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
"We put ourselves in position to have the opportunity to close this series out," Anthony said. "That’s our mindset."
Anthony's been a driving force behind the Knicks' success.
He's averaged an NBA playoff-high 32 points in three games. He's hit 46 percent of his shots, including 50 percent from beyond the arc (8-for-16).
Most importantly, his Knicks are 3-0 in the playoffs.
Entering this postseason, Anthony had won just 31.5 percent of his playoff games -- the lowest career winning percentage for a player averaging 20 or more regular-season points per game in NBA history, according to Elias.
But he has a chance to rewrite that narrative, to get people to forget about his porous playoff past. It starts on Sunday afternoon in Boston, when Anthony and the Knicks can close out their long-time rival Celtics on their home floor.
"We know Game 4 is win-or-go-home for those guys," Anthony said. "I've been on the other side plenty of times and I know that feeling. I know the type of energy they're going to come out and display here on Sunday. We just have to be prepared."
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