Mar 9, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler (6) and New York Knicks small forward Steve Novak (16) celebrate against the Utah Jazz during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Raptors

“Playoffs?”

“Don’t talk about playoffs.”

Mar. 3, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler (6) reacts on the court against the Miami Heat during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Any time we start talking about playoffs it’s always fun to bring a little Jim Mora into the mix, but the New York Knicks can clinch a postseason berth Friday night with a win over the Toronto Raptors.

It’s been over a decade since the Knicks can say they have made the postseason in three consecutive years, but that is all but certain to happen, if not Friday then in the next couple of days. The last time the Knicks made the playoffs in three straight seasons came from 1999-2001.

If they do beat the Raps on Friday it will give the Knicks 41 wins on the season, which assures them the No. 8 seed at the minimum as the Philadelphia 76ers, who are  currently the first team out of the playoffs can finish with a max of 41 wins, so simply a win assures the Knicks of a postseason trip.

However while that is fine, the goal for the Knicks is to finish as the No. 2 seed, as they currently sit in the No. 3 slot, only one  game behind the Indiana Pacers.

But to do that they will have to hold onto their Atlantic Division lead.

Who would have thought a couple of months ago that winning the Atlantic would ever be in doubt?

But that’s exactly what has happened thanks to a 42-game stretch that has seen the Knicks go only 22-20. As a result, their division lead is down to only a game over the Brooklyn Nets, as the Knicks are now only two games up in the loss column over the Nets.

Even though the playoffs are all but assured, the Knicks final 16 games become very important as they have 16 games to get things figured out.

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