3 reasons the Knicks can win a first-round playoff series
The New York Knicks will almost certainly make the NBA Playoffs this season. FiveThirtyEight gives them a 95 percent chance of making the final eight, while PlayoffStatus.com gives them a 74 percent chance of avoiding the Play-In Tournament entirely, with the fifth-seed now their most likely landing spot after drubbing the Boston Celtics on Monday night.
Making the playoffs is just the start, however, and the Knicks want to make some noise when they get there. Despite the talk this year being about the top four teams in the East, the Knicks have a very real chance to win a first-round playoff series.
Here are three reasons why the rest of the East should have a healthy respect for the Knicks.
Reason No. 1: They have defeated the other contenders this season
The New York Knicks have not built their 36-27 record this season by solely feasting on lottery teams; they have also notched a number of wins against the best teams in the East. That not only proves they can beat anyone, but it also speaks to how well they match up with their fellow East playoff foes specifically.
After Monday’s win over the Celtics, the Knicks are now 2-1 in that matchup. They are 0-3 against the Milwaukee Bucks, but their last two games were decided by six and four points, respectively. They are 2-1 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, their most likely first-round opponent, and split the season series with the Philadelphia 76ers 2-2. The Knicks can hang with anyone.