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Sunday, May 6, 2012
W2W4: Knicks vs. Heat

By Ian Begley

If the Knicks lose on Sunday, their roller coaster season is over. If they win, they'll survive and advance to Game 5 on Wednesday in Miami.

Here are a few things to watch as the Knicks look to stave off elimination:

HOW'S AMARE? Amare Stoudemire will start against the Miami Heat on Sunday, six days after suffering a severe laceration to his left hand.

But how effective can he be?

Stoudemire will play with a bandage on his left hand, according to Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson. You'd have to think that'll affect both his shot and ability to rebound the ball.

Stoudemire practiced on Friday and Saturday and was cleared by team doctors to suit up on Sunday afternoon.

"They (the team doctors) thought it was OK for him (to play) and he wanted to play," Woodson said. " So I'm for it. He wants to put back on the uniform and get out there and try to help us win Game 4. I'm taking him in uniform."

BRUTAL MARGIN OF DEFEAT: The Heat have embarrassed the Knicks this series, winning by an average of 20 points. If that holds to form on Sunday, this Heat-Knicks series could go down as one of the most lopsided in NBA history.

Here's the competition: Orlando beat a Woodson-coached Atlanta team by 25.3 per game in a 2010 second-round series. The only other four-game sweep with an average margin of more than 20, according to STATS, LLC, was when the Lakers routed San Antonio by 22.3 per game in the 2001 Western Conference finals.

CAN MELO GET IT GOING? The Miami Heat have done a great job guarding Carmelo Anthony this series. They've forced him to catch the ball in places he'd rather not, they've fronted him in the post, sending double teams, fronting him and generally kept Anthony off of his game.

"They start LeBron (James) on me, play Shane Battier. He played me for three-quarters of the game then LeBron gets his chance to rest," Anthony said on Saturday. "I’ve seen it all this series, two guys, three guys. I don’t think there’s nothing to it. You’ve got to get through it at this point."

Can he get through it on Sunday?

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