3 Reasons Why the New York Knicks Will Skip the Play-In Tournament

Julius Randle, NY Knicks. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Julius Randle, NY Knicks. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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RJ Barrett, Knicks. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Knicks Have Multiple Tiebreakers

While the Knicks are in sole possession of the 6th seed at the moment, the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff picture is still tightly bunched together. New York is only 0.5 games behind the 4th seed, but they’re also just 3 games ahead of the 9th seed.

However, the Knicks have a chance to have tiebreakers over nearly every team that’s close to them in the standings. Only the 7th seeded Miami Heat currently have locked up a tiebreaker over the orange and blue, winning the season series 3-0.

New York currently has secured tiebreakers over the 4th seed Atlanta Hawks and the 9th seed Indiana Pacers, regardless of how any future matchups against those teams go.

They’re also tied 1-1 with the 5th seed Boston Celtics and 10th seed Toronto Raptors with important rubber matches over the final 15 games. It’s worth noting that both of those contests are going to be at home.

Finally, they’re 0-1 against the 8th seed Charlotte Hornets. However, the Hornets have had terrible injury luck and are not the same team that beat the Knicks back on Janary 11th. Charlotte likely lost promising rookie LaMelo Ball for the season with a wrist fracture and leading scorer Gordon Hayward will miss at least one matchup against New York due to a right foot sprain.

The Knicks have the opportunity to hold tiebreakers over 4 of the 5 teams directly surrounding them in the standings. That could be the difference between being a 6-seed resting for their first playoff matchup or a 7-seed fighting for their postseason lives in the Play-In Tournament.