Bleacher Report predicts Knicks will clash with hated rival in 2024 playoffs

NBA playoffs will be here soon enough.
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Somehow, less than two months are left in the 2023-24 regular season. The All-Star break is over, and the final push is here. It's the time of the year when potential playoff matchups are discussed. As the current No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks should be back in the postseason for the second consecutive year.

In 2023, the NBA got a treat when the Cavaliers finished as the fourth-best team in the East and the Knicks finished as the fifth. It set up a battle between the team that traded for Donovan Mitchell and the team that everyone thought would trade for him. In the end, New York was left standing.

The Knicks renewed their 90s rivalry with the Heat in the second round, but the outcome didn't favor them. If Bleacher Report's 2024 playoff prediction turns out to be accurate, New York will go up against yet another hated 90s foe.

B/R's Greg Swartz believes the Knicks and Pacers will face off in the first round of the playoffs, which would mark the first time since 2013 that the teams have clashed in the postseason.

Bleacher Report predicts Knicks will play Pacers in first round of 2024 playoffs

A New York-Indiana first-round series would have several interesting storylines. Two of the league's best point guards would go head-to-head, which would be exciting enough. The rivalry that started in the 90s would add more fuel to the fire. Former Raptors OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam would go up against each other after starting the season together in Toronto. Don't forget about Obi Toppin, who the Knicks traded to the Pacers last July.

The last two times New York played Indiana in the postseason (2000 and 2013), the Pacers won. If B/R's prediction comes true, maybe the Knicks will rein victorious in April. Swartz did write that a loss to New York would "seem inevitable" for Indiana.

The most significant advantage that the Knicks would have over the Pacers is their defense. If New York enters the postseason fully healthy (and it seems there's a good possibility that'll happen), the Knicks will have the peskiest defense out of the other playoff-bound teams. New York sacrificed Quentin Grimes, one of the team's best defenders, to acquire Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic, but luckily, OG Anunoby exists!

A Knicks-Pacers series would be nerve-wracking yet enthralling. If that's what the NBA gods have in store, bring it on!