The New York Knicks are on the verge of a playoff berth for the first time since the 2003-04 NBA season. The Knicks are 28-38 and only 1.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference.
After a successful road trip, the Knicks kept their hopes for the final playoff spot alive with huge victories over the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, and Minnesota Timberwolves.
While the trip ended with a loss to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was a great moral victory in that the Knicks were within striking distance of stealing a victory from Cleveland in the fourth quarter in a extremely tough arena where the Cavs have lost only one game all season.
Now, the Knicks come back to the Garden with a chance to move closer to that last playoff spot. Awaiting them on Wednesday will be their Hudson rivals, the New Jersey Nets, who lost a heartbreaker to the L.A. Clippers on Sunday. The Knicks have 16 games remaining and, after examining the schedule, I've picked the games the Knicks must win.
3/18- New Jersey Nets @ MSG
3/20- Sacramento @ MSG
3/23- Orlando @ MSG
3/25- L.A. Clippers @ MSG
3/27- New Orleans @ MSG
4/4- Toronto @ MSG
4/5- New York @ Toronto
4/7- Chicago @ New York
4/8- Detroit @ New York
4/12- New York @ Miami
4/15- New Jersey @ MSG
The Knicks must win majority of these games to solidify their hopes. I would say the Knicks have to go 11-5 to make the playoffs and end the season with a 39-43 record. This would be the only way to get in. As you can see, they have some very important home games vs. the Nets, Bulls, Clippers, and Kings.
They must win all four of these games, and if they don't, they will not make the playoffs. It's that simple.
I will be intrigued and excited to see how this team performs during this last month of the season, because these last 16 games will show us how far our beloved Knicks have come. So, D'antoni and the Knicks: It's showtime!