Good morning, friends. The Knicks didn't play last night, but one of their neighbors in the standings did. New York remains in seventh place, but things are tightening up around them. The 76ers won (over the Nets in their final game in my home state. Later, bros.), thus clinching a playoff berth, eliminating the Bucks, and pulling even with the Knicks in record. Here's what the bottom of the East looks like now:
Orlando: 36-28 (Remaining opponents: Bobcats, Grizzlies)
New York: 34-30 (Clippers, Bobcats)
Philadelphia: 34-30 (Bucks, Pistons)
Meanwhile, the Bulls, Heat, and Pacers remain the first, second, and third seeds, and will be stuck that way unless the Bulls lose out and the Heat win out (do I have that right?).
Similarly, the Knicks' only chance of overtaking the Magic at this point is to win out while the Magic lose out. While the Bobcats have defeated both the Knicks and Magic this year, it'd take some bizarre turn of events for them to beat Orlando on Wednesday. Remember when the Knicks played the Wizards a little while back? Remember how the Wizards didn't even look like a basketball team? Well, that group farted on the Bobcats last night. They absolutely demolished them. So yeah, I wouldn't count on the Magic doing their part to get the Knicks the sixth seed. (And if the Bobcats do beat the Magic, they'll totally beat the Knicks as well just to mess with us.)
So, because of a tiebreaker, the Knicks still have their slim shot at sixth. Because of another tiebreaker, they're currently in seventh. Lose a game or two, though, and they could drop into eighth at the last minute. I've heard suggestions that they tank for the eighth seed and a match-up with the Bulls, but 1. Miami and Chicago aren't even set in their seeds. 2. I'm way too superstitious to condone such tampering.
In summary: The Knicks are probably going to be the seventh seed and are probably going to play the Heat in the first round, but even now, there exists the possibility that they move up or down one spot.