Frustration has taken over the New York Knicks as they get ready to host LeBron James and the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
In fact, a bad situation turned ugly following the Knicks' 104-94 Game 2 loss on Monday in Miami when New York power forward Amar'e Stoudemire lacerated his left hand after punching the glass case of a fire-extinguisher in a fit of anger on his way back to the locker room.
The Knicks had already entered the series with point guard Jeremy Lin sidelined from late-season knee surgery and lost defensive stalwart Iman Shumpert to a torn ACL in a 33-point Game 1 setback.
Stoudemire has been ruled out of Game 3 and has been listed as doubtful for Game 4.
The big man left AmericanAirlines Arena Monday with his hand bandaged and his arm in a sling, then apologized to fans and teammates via Twitter, saying he was "not proud of my actions" and that "we have all done [things] out of anger that we regret."
Dwyane Wade scored 25 points in Game 2, Chris Bosh netted 21 and James chipped in 19 for the Heat, who took a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven set.
"We were playing our normal package of sets and just playing out of it, and those guys had the maturity to make the plays," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of his three stars.
Carmelo Anthony poured in a game-high 30 points and Stoudemire contributed 18 but it was not enough for the Knicks, who suffered their 12th consecutive playoff defeat, tying the 2004-2006 Grizzlies for the longest stretch of futility in NBA postseason history.
"It is still a seven-game series. You have to win four to get out of it," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson, adding, "I feel good about going home and playing in front of our fans."
The Knicks, who will be searching for their first playoff win since April 29, 2001 tonight, went 14-5 without Stoudemire in the lineup during the regular season. He missed most of the final month because of a bulging disc in his lower back.
New York did receive a bit of good news on Wednesday when center Tyson Chandler was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the first player in franchise history to earn the honor. Chandler unseated Orlando's Dwight Howard, who had won the award each of the previous three seasons.
Later Wednesday Bosh was summoned to South Florida because his wife is about to give birth. The big man left from New York on a private plane, after his wife, Adrienne, posted a photo on a social media site that said "hurry home." The Heat have not officially ruled Bosh out for Game 3 but it's looking unlikely he will play.
New York's famous "Blue Carpet" will also be unrolled for this high-profile game with celebrities like Spike Lee, Ben Stiller, Fabolous, Tracy Morgan, Kate Upton and Taye Diggs expected to be on hand.
The Knicks and Heat were once the game's biggest rivalry back in the late 1990s thanks to Pat Riley. Riley, the current Heat president, was the coach in New York from 1991-95 and took the Knicks to the '94 NBA Finals. He resigned from New York via fax to move on to South Florida, creating quite a bit of acrimony with the New York faithful.
In '97, Riley's Heat defeated his old team in a physical seven-game series advancing to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in franchise history. However, the '98, '99 lockout-shortened season, and 2000 playoffs would be disappointments for Miami as they lost to the arch-rival Knicks; the first two in the opening round and the latter in the second round.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Sunday at Madison Square Garden.