2: Finishing outside of the top six
The Knicks are coming off a season where they made it to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade. If they secure another postseason berth in 2024, it’ll be the first time since 2013 that New York has advanced to the playoffs in consecutive seasons.
The Bucks and Celtics widened the gap between themselves and other teams in the conference, but Milwaukee and Boston were most likely going to finish above New York in the standings anyway. The Sixers were the No. 3 team in the East last season, but now, they’re a team the Knicks could leapfrog.
The Cavaliers had a solid offseason that included signing Max Strus and Georges Niang in free agency, so Cleveland and New York could be battling for the No. 3 spot this season. It should be noted it isn’t a guarantee that the Bucks and Celtics will finish in the top two, as anything can happen in an 82-game season.
New York is entering the season with relatively the same roster as last year and should be able to avoid the play-in tournament entirely, barring injuries. Earning a play-in spot would be better than nothing, but it would be a disappointment if the Knicks don’t at least play in a first-round series.