new york knicks
Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are going back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013 after beating the shorthanded Boston Celtics.

The New York Knicks have come a long way in a short period of time. Originally pegged to finish last in the NBA, the Knicks are going to be hosting a playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.

There is no questioning it after 72 games — the Knicks were the very best story of the 2020-21 season. Of course, they are hoping to add to this season with a deep run into the playoffs, but they have already exceeded expectations.

This will be the first trip to the playoffs for a number of Knicks, including Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.

The Boston Celtics entered Sunday locked into the seventh seed. As a result, Boston sat a handful of players in order to get some extra rest before the play-in.

Although New York watched a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead evaporate, they were able to hold off the Celtics and clinch the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks edge out the Hawks and Miami Heat in that three-way race for four, five, and six in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks swept the Hawks (3-0) this season, but don’t read into those games too much. Everything is different in a seven-game series. The good news for New York is that the Hawks are another inexperienced squad. Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, and John Collins will all be playing in their first playoffs.

Mike Breen Hall of Famer

Perhaps Mike Breen will have a chance to call a Knicks playoff game for the first time in forever. The longtime MSG and ESPN broadcaster was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the 2020 class over the weekend.

Breen deserves all the praise that is coming his way for this tremendous achievement. He was acknowledged by the MSG crowd during Sunday’s game.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.