- Ian Begley, ESPN New York Writer
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Here's what lies ahead for the Knicks as they try to sneak into the playoffs:
The Knicks are three games behind eighth-place Atlanta and four games back of seventh-place Charlotte entering play Saturday. The Bobcats and Knicks have 13 games to play. Atlanta has 15 to go. With that in mind, we took a look at the remaining strength of schedule for each team.
Knicks: The Knicks have the most difficult schedule of the three teams mentioned above. The combined winning percentage of the final 13 teams on their schedule is .503. The Knicks play eight teams currently in playoff position and nine teams above .500.
Eight of their last 10 games are against teams in playoff position.
Best-case scenario for the Knicks has those playoff teams resting their players in the games when they play New York.
Hawks: The Hawks have a relatively tough stretch of schedule to close the season. The combined winning percentage of the teams left on their schedule is .486.
The Hawks, who are 5-5 in their past 10, play seven teams in playoff position in their final 15.
Nine of those teams enter play Saturday over .500.
Bobcats: The Bobcats have the easiest schedule of the three teams battling for a playoff berth and positioning discussed above.
The combined winning percentage of Charlotte's final 13 opponents is .432. Wow. Seven of the final 13 teams the Bobcats face are currently in playoff position. And six are over .500.
One thing to keep an eye on with the Hawks and Bobcats: It will be interesting to see whether one of them falls out of playoff position and starts to lose games intentionally to improve its standing in June's NBA draft.
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Here's what lies ahead for the Knicks as they try to sneak into the playoffs: The Knicks are three games behind eighth-place Atlanta and four games back of seventh-place Charlotte entering play Saturday.