Mar 19, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) controls the ball against Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) during the fourth quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks defeated the Pacers 92-86. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking Down the Atlantic Division: Can the Knicks make the playoffs?

The Atlantic division’s standings are pretty much a lock. The Raptors will probably hold onto first place. The Nets would then stay in second place. What about the Celtics? Fourth place. And the Sixers are in fifth place We know about the Sixers.

The Knicks are in third place, but they have their eyes set on the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Right now, as I write this, the Knicks are four games behind the 8th seeded Atlanta Hawks. The Knicks have won seven straight but the Hawks have answered in the form of their own five game winning streak.

We could talk about the Nets and Raptors. But, other than that, the only real drama left is the Knicks. They just introduced Phil Jackson as the new President of Basketball Operations. Clearly, he can’t do anything for this team right now. So, his addition is irrelevant unless players decide to play better to stay on the roster or something of that nature.

So, the question is: Can the Knicks make the playoffs? The Bobcats are only a half game above the Hawks. So, the Knicks are watching both of those teams. They don’t face either of them for the rest of the season so they can only hope the other teams fall. As for the Knicks’ remaining schedule…welp, they’ll be on the road quite a bit. Nine of their last 14 are on the road. Record on the road so far? 12-20. Out of these 14 games, nine of them are against teams in the playoff race (meaning, these teams are in the top eight in their conference).

The Hawks have 16 games left, only six are on the road. So, the Hawks have home court advantage in that sense. Nine of those games are against playoff teams. Since the Hawks are 20-11 at home, the odds appear to be in their favor over the Knicks.

So, the Bobcats. They have 13 games left — six of them are on the road and seven are at home. The Bbcats are 19-15 at home.

The odds are not in the Knicks’ favor looking at the other teams. On paper, the Knicks are better than both of these teams. But, something has gone wrong this year. Coaching. Injuries. Whatever it is, a roster that is almost the same as last year’s team that was a top team in the East may not make the playoffs.

The Hawks have more games left though, so they could drop games while the Knicks wait in the shadows.

So, I’m going to say the Knicks do miss the playoffs, although I would imagine the gap of four games would close to like a game. Yeah, Knicks barely miss the playoffs.

Okay, it’s question time!

  1. Again, will the Raptors or Nets win the division?
  2. Will the Knicks make the playoffs?
  3. If so, will the Hawks or Bobcats fall?

Less than 20 games for just about each team in the league. The Knicks are in 9th place right now so if they can’t make it, the race for the East is over soon. The West’s 7-9th seed race is interesting and something to keep an eye on.

Tags: Boston Celtics Brooklyn Nets New York Knicks Philadelphia 76ers Toronto Raptors

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