A sweep could never be easier? Amare likely out.

With eyes towards the future,
a back injury could keep Amare
sidelined in Game 4. 
On Boston.com, Amalie Benjamin shares some quotes from Amare Stoudemire, who's been battling back spasms this series. He makes it sound pretty doubtful he'll be playing in today's critical Game 4.

“I was pretty much in pain the whole game, from start to finish,’’ Stoudemire said of Game 3. “I just don’t want to further injure the injury. We understand how bright the future is here with the organization. It’s a great first step for us as a franchise and what we’re trying to accomplish. We want to continue that success here the next few years, so we don’t want to further damage anything by overdoing it.

“So, I just want to make a smart decision. If I feel better tomorrow, then we’ll see how it goes. If not, then hopefully we can still get a win.’’

It sounds like Amare has already given up on the series. According to New York coach Mike D'Antoni, Chauncey Billups is doubtful for today's game as well. With both of those guys on the bench instead of the court, a sweep could very well be on the horizon.

No team in NBA history has ever recovered from an 0-3 series deficit. Even so, the Knicks don't plan on just laying down. Carmelo Anthony had some fighting words on the subject.

“At this point in time we’ve got to lay it out there on the court,’’ Anthony said. “We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do, the X’s and O’s go out the window. We’ve got to fight. It’s a war, it’s a battle, and the most important thing is just how much pride we’ve got. I don’t want to get swept, we don’t want to get swept. So we’ve got to go out there and just leave it all out there on the court, see what happens.’’

It sounds like if the Knicks are going down, they'll be going down swinging. The Celtics have never swept an opponent in the playoffs in the new Big Three era. A desperate team can be dangerous no matter who's on the roster. While a sweep could seemingly never be easier, we'll see what New York has left in the tank.