As one might expect, the 27-40 Knicks have taken advantage of a remarkably soft stretch of the schedule, winning games (chronologically) against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. At 33-32, the Timberwolves are the only one of those teams with a winning record, and Minnesota has virtually no shot at making the playoffs. The second-best team of the bunch, Cleveland, has a 26-41 record that puts it just one game behind the Knicks for ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
Unfortunately for both the Knicks and Cavs, ninth place doesn't come with a playoff bid, and the eighth-place Atlanta Hawks are riding a four-game winning streak that has them at 30-35, four games ahead of the Knicks.
Previously fading fast, the Hawks now seem like a pretty good bet to hold onto that last playoff spot, despite losing 14 of their last 15 matchups before the four-game winning streak. Interestingly enough, the lone win during that hideous stretch came against the Knicks, and it might just be the difference-maker when everything is said and done.
Even if the Knicks do manage to sneak into the playoffs, they'll be an extreme long shot to advance past the first round, and an impressive March winning streak will quickly be forgotten about. The last Knicks squad to win six consecutive games by 10+ points, the 1969-70 iteration, was also one of the only two teams in franchise history—the other being in 1972-73—to win an NBA championship.
In 1969, the streak was the mark of a great team. In 2014, it's a nice milestone for a flailing franchise.
However, with Phil Jackson set to take over as president of basketball operations, per the NY Daily News, the Knickerbockers may soon find their wings.
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