NYK can clinch playoff berth tonight

April, 19, 2012
4/19/12
2:59
PM ET
The Knicks can clinch a playoff berth on Thursday if the Bucks lose to Indiana.

Here's how:

• The Knicks (33-29) enter play Thursday 3½ games up on ninth-place Milwaukee (29-32).

• If Milwaukee loses on Thursday, the highest win total it can finish with is 33.

• The Knicks' win over New Jersey on Wednesday guaranteed that they'll finish with at least 33 wins.

• If the Knicks and Bucks both finish the year at 33-33, the first tiebreaker is season series. The Knicks and Bucks split this year, 2-2. So they'd have to go to the second tiebreaker, which is conference record.

That's where a Milwaukee loss Thursday is key for the Knicks.

If the Bucks lose to Indiana, their conference record would be 22-22.

The Knicks are 26-19 in conference games. They have three games left against conference foes, meaning they can finish no worse than 26-22 in conference.

So a Milwaukee loss on Thursday means that, at worst, the Knicks will finish with the same conference record as the Bucks.

This takes us to the third tiebreaker: record against playoff teams in conference.

Entering play Thursday, the Knicks are 10-12 against Eastern Conference playoff teams. Milwaukee is 6-18 against playoff teams in conference. So the Knicks win the tiebreaker handily.

Which is why if you're a Knicks fan, you should be rooting hard for Indiana on Thursday.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
24.1 3.1 0.9 35.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.0
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.6
StealsS. Larkin 1.3
BlocksL. Amundson 1.9