The New York Basketball Knicks are back in the postseason, baby! The Knicks sealed it up in the best way possible for NY fans: a Celtics loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. New York clinches a spot in the East playoffs along with the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night. Atlanta came from behind late against the Washington Wizards to grab a victory. This is the first time the Knicks are in the playoffs since 2012-13, back with Carmelo Anthony.
Is it really that surprising that Tom Thibodeau whipped the Knicks into shape this fast and turned Julius Randle into an All-Star? People forget what he did with the Chicago Bulls and more remember his time in Minnesota. Thibs was responsible for the best defensive season by the Knicks since 2011-12 based on relative defensive rating. The Knicks will have a shot to finish anywhere from 4-6 in the Eastern Conference; right now they’re in the 6th seed.
That would set the Knicks up for a first-round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, who we all know have had their struggles in the postseason the past few years. Does that mean the Knicks will be the latest team to take down Giannis Antetokounmpo. Maybe when Giannis isn’t the reigning MVP the Bucks will fare better in the playoffs.
It’s either Milwaukee or one of Atlanta or Miami in the 4-5 matchup. The Knicks may have a tougher time with the Hawks or Heat than the Bucks, honestly. Miami has been hot heading into the playoffs and are the reigning East champs. The Hawks have been the “Tale of Two Seasons” and are a completely different team under Nate McMillan. The Knicks have a tough defense but it’ll be interesting to see who takes over in crunch time or comes up in the clutch. Is it Randle? RJ Barrett? Derrick Rose!? It’s probably D-Rose.