As of today, these are the Eastern Conference standings.
The Knicks are currently in the 6th seed by half a game, with Philadelphia directly behind them. The schedule the rest of the way for the Knicks is as follows; @New Jersey, @Indiana, home at the Garden for Chicago and then they wrap up the season in Boston.
Friday’s game against New Jersey is important not only to gain a full game lead on the 6′ers, but by winning Friday they would clinch the tiebreaker against Philly. Currently the season-record between the 6′ers and Knicks is tied 2-2, if the Knicks can beat the Nets they would have a better division record and thus win the tie-braker. The 76′ers on the other hand finish out the season home against Toronto and Orlando and a 1 game road trip to Detroit.
If the playoffs were to start tomorrow, we would be facing the Miami Heat in the first round. Since they aren’t, lets presume the Knicks do hold on to the 6 seed, a big if considering our tough schedule and the 6′ers comparatively easy schedule, and take a look at the chances that the Knicks take their talents to South Beach.
Miami is only a 1/2 game back according to their record but due to the fact that Boston holds the tie breaker one can look at it as a 1.5 game lead for the Celtics.
Here are Boston and Miami’s schedules the rest of the way:
The Boston Celtics will face the Bulls, Wizards 2x, Heat, and the Knicks to end the season.
The Miami Heat will play the Bobcats, Celtics, Hawks, and Raptors to end the season.
Both teams’ schedules match up pretty well, that is neither is much easier than the other. Boston and Miami play each other head to head one more time before the end of the season, and that game may very well be the deciding factor as to who gets the 2nd and 3rd seed.
One other very interesting thing to note is the fact that Boston ends the season against the Knicks. In fact, due to how close the standings are the Knicks may control their own destiny as to which team they face in the first round. Many fans are divided as to which team is a better matchup so it will be very interesting to see if this game is the deciding factor as to who we play.
I would prefer to face the Heat in the first round; nothing could feel better than ending the Heat’s season prematurely.
Whatever happens, Go Knicks!