new york knicks
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

With only a few games left to play, where do the New York Knicks stand in the Eastern Conference standings?

Don’t blink. You might miss some changes in the NBA’s playoff picture. The New York Knicks are currently in a three-way tie with the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Let’s take a deep dive into the remaining schedule, tiebreaker scenarios, and playoff possibilities for the Knicks.

Current Standings

1. Philadelphia 76ers (47-23)
2. Brooklyn Nets (46-24)
3. Milwaukee Bucks (45-25)
4. Atlanta Hawks (40-31)
5. Miami Heat (39-31)
6. New York Knicks (39-31)
7. Boston Celtics (35-35)*
8. Charlotte Hornets (33-37)*
9. Indiana Pacers (33-37)*
10. Washington Wizards (32-38)*

*denotes play-in tournament

Remaining Schedules

New York Knicks

vs. Charlotte Hornets — 5/15
vs. Boston Celtics — 5/16

Atlanta Hawks

vs. Houston Rockets — 5/16

Miami Heat

@ Milwaukee Bucks — 5/15
@ Detroit Pistons — 5/16

Tiebreaker Scenarios

2-Team Tiebreaker

Should the Knicks finish in a tie with the Hawks OR Heat, the tiebreaker will be head-to-head games. New York has the tiebreaker over Atlanta, but not Miami in this scenario.

Multi-Team Tiebreaker

If the Knicks, Hawks, and Heat all finish with the same record, Atlanta would finish as the four seed because they are the top team in the Southeast Division. Miami would get the five seed after sweeping the Knicks in three games during the regular season.

Where Do The Knicks Stand?

No one could have expected the Knicks to be in this position at this point in the season. They have a legitimate chance at locking up home-court advantage for a first-round playoff series. No matter what happens, this season is already a success.

But these Knicks don’t seem content with having a spot at the table. They want to make some noise in the playoffs. Securing a spot in that pivotal 4 vs. 5 matchup is imperative at this point.

The Hawks and Heat are tough teams, but beatable. In truth, whichever team has home-court advantage in that series will have a slight edge, but any combination of the three teams will be a coin flip. Winning a playoff series would be a monumental accomplishment in year one for this new regime.

And who knows? Injuries or a shocking upset in the first round could pave the way for an even deeper run into the playoffs. Crazier things have happened (see: ’99 Knicks).

It’s going to be much tougher for the Knicks to advance out of the first round in a matchup with the Brooklyn Nets or Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. A Knicks-Nets playoff series would burn down New York City in the best possible way, but it wouldn’t end well for the orange and blue.

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