Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are a win away from the Eastern Conference Semifinals and a familiar face thinks they can go even farther. Former star guard and fan favorite John Starks appeared on SiriusXM’s NBA Radio and predicted his old team to make the NBA Finals.

“I had the Knicks coming out of the East,” Starks said.  “I looked at how we competed against everybody in the East. We beat every team in the East, maybe not Milwaukee, but every other team in the East, we got either a better record or we split with them. The top teams, Philly, Miami, Boston, Cleveland, those type of teams.”

The Knicks currently have a 3-1 series lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers and, if they advance, will face the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks-Miami Heat series. There, the Heat have their own 3-1 lead and are on the verge of an upset.

Starks knows all too well how intense a Knicks-Heat playoff series would be. Furthermore, he’s not wrong in his take. New York was the better team this year and won the season series over Miami 3-1. The Knicks could also make an East Finals against either the Celtics or Sixers interesting.

So, can these new look New York Knicks make a run all the way to the NBA Finals? It’s unlikely, if only because Julius Randle isn’t yet fully healthy and RJ Barrett defines streaky. The Heat are also on the verge of beating the Bucks without a key shooter in Tyler Herro and won’t be a walk in the park.

But for now, the Knicks are running hot and a deep playoff run certainly seems possible. Especially when we factor in the Sixers’ inevitable crash on account of playoff James Harden. John Starks just might be onto something.

Game 5 of Knicks-Cavaliers tips off Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET on NBA TV and MSG.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.