ESPN predicts Knicks will have another heated first-round battle in 2024 playoffs

New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

‘Tis the season for 2023-24 NBA record predictions. The New York Knicks will be in a position to make it back to the playoffs for the second consecutive season, something that hasn’t happened since 2013. Based on the latest projection, the Knicks are predicted to accomplish that.

Leon Rose and the front office haven’t made any major splashes this offseason, and unless something world-altering happens, New York should enter the new season with a similar roster to last season. The lone free-agency addition is Donte DiVincenzo, and the most significant loss is Obi Toppin, although he played a limited role.

The Knicks finished 2022-23 with a 47-35 record, good enough for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. For a team that was projected to be nothing more than a play-in tournament squad, the Knicks exceeded expectations by surpassing the tournament altogether.

In ESPN’s 2023-24 win-loss records for the East, New York is projected to finish as the No. 6 seed (subscription required) in the conference with a 46-36 record.

ESPN predicts Knicks will finish sixth in East with 46-36 record in 2023-24

In ESPN’s prediction, New York would secure another playoff berth as the sixth seed. That seems to be a reasonable spot for the Knicks to finish in, as the team finishes with nearly the same record as 2022-23.

The only change from last season is the Heat taking the top-five seed, although Miami is projected to finish with a 46-36 record like New York. ESPN predicts the Heat will have the tie-breaker over the Knicks because of their regular season match-ups. Here’s a look at ESPN’s expected top five:

  • No. 1 Boston Celtics, 55-27
  • No. 2 Milwaukee Bucks, 54-28
  • No. 3 Cleveland Cavaliers, 50-32
  • No. 4 Philadelphia Sixers, 47-35
  • No. 5 Miami Heat, 46-36

Ironically enough, if this is how 2023-24 ends, the Knicks would clash with the Cavaliers again in the first round of the playoffs. Cleveland would have a chance to avenge last year’s loss with new three-point shooters Max Strus and Georges Niang, but Jalen Brunson has proven he has Donovan Mitchell’s number in the postseason.

If New York were to slip back into the top five again, it would likely happen at Philadelphia’s expense. The James Harden saga gets worse by the day, which could affect Joel Embiid’s future with the Sixers. Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill reported people around the league believe Daryl Morey wants a rebuild, and if that’s true, don’t expect to see the Sixers in the top five.

Regardless of what happens in Philadelphia, every New York fan should hope for the Knicks to secure another playoff berth.