The Knicks Could Be A Play-In Team Even With A Win Over The Cavaliers

CLEVELAND – The Knicks are believed to have nailed their magic number to clinch a playoff berth with a dominating win over the Heat on Wednesday night, but there remains a small mathematical chance they could end up in the play-in tournament .

With another win over the Cavaliers on Friday night, the Knicks could potentially end up in a three-way tie with the Nets and Heat in the Eastern Conference, and could drop to seventh due to complicated tiebreakers. System.

The excitement of Wednesday’s win over the Heat was also dampened by an ankle injury suffered by All-Star forward Julius Randle, who is expected to be out for the remainder of the regular season and possibly after the team’s April 15 playoff debut. announced that they would be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Friday’s road game against Donovan Mitchell and No. 1, except for the collapse in Randle’s absence. The 4 Cavaliers still represent the most likely first round matchup for the Knicks,

Julius Randle reacts after injuring his ankle in the first half of the Knicks’ win over the Heat.
Robert Sabo for the NY Post

“You take it step by step,” Tom Thibodeau said after Wednesday’s win that extended the Knicks’ lead over seventh-ranked Miami to four games with five left to play. “I just think [Wednesday’s win was] Important because it was the next game. We just want to play well. We want to play our best.

“Challenges, they don’t stop. Enjoy the win and then get ready for Cleveland. We know how good Cleveland is, so we have to be at our best on the road.”

The Knicks (44-33) attempted to acquire four-time All-Star Mitchell, who is averaging a career-high 27.6 points per game this season, by dealing the Jazz to the Cavaliers (48-29) last summer. Earlier ,

Thibodeau’s team is also 2 ½ games ahead of No. 1 in the Nets. 5 seeds in the east.

Josh Hart is averaging 10.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 20 games since the Knicks acquired him from Portland on February 20. 8, and Thibodeau called him “like a Swiss army knife” after his 13-point, eight-board effort against the Heat.

Josh Hart plays a dunk against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden.
Josh Hart plays a dunk against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

“It’s been a seamless transition. He’s added a lot to our team,” Thibodeau said. “I think the toughness and the competitiveness has been huge for us. Obviously, he can guard multiple positions [is] An elite rebel. Big loose ball, hustle-type guy, hits shots on time, can push the ball, and you can start your offense with him.

“He does everything, and he just serves us well. So when Julius went out, we had his backup. [power forward]And he’s done a great job for us.”

Isaac Okoro (knee) is out and Jarrett Allen (groin) is listed as questionable for the Cavaliers game.

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