Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Knicks [Print without images]

Thursday, April 26, 2012
Knicks open playoffs on Saturday

By Ian Begley



Mike Woodson can't be happy about this.

The NBA announced on Saturday that Woodson's Knicks will open the playoffs on Saturday. The league didn't announce a start time (it's expected to be announced after Thursday's games).

The Saturday start, against either Miami or Chicago, means that the Knicks will have a maximum of two practices (assuming they don't take a day off), to prepare for their first-round opponent.

Woodson had hoped to start the first-round series on Sunday to get an extra day to rest/prepare.

"If we come out of (Thursday) night's game and then have to go right in and play Saturday, that's just one day of preparation," Woodson said on Wednesday. "So, Sunday gives me one more day which would be kind of nice, if they do that."

The Knicks will enter play Thursday with their playoff seed up in the air, staring at three different scenarios:

If they beat the Bobcats, who have lost 22 straight and may finish with the worst win percentage in NBA history, they will finish in seventh and seal a first-round date with Miami.

If New York loses and eighth-place Philadelphia beats Detroit on the road, the Knicks will finish in eighth and face the top-seeded Chicago Bulls in the first round.

If the Knicks and Sixers lose, both teams will have finished with identical 35-31 records. But New York will stay in seventh because it owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with Philly.

The Knicks may fly straight to their opponent's city after Thursday's game or practice in Charlotte on Friday and then travel to their opponent's city after practice.

Either way, they will have one less day to prepare for either Miami or Chicago.

Here is the full NBA playoff schedule:

Western Conference

Utah at San Antonio Sunday, April 29

Dallas/OR/Denver at Oklahoma City Saturday, April 28

Denver/OR/Dallas at L.A. Lakers Sunday, April 29

L.A. Clippers at Memphis Sunday, April 29
OR Memphis at L.A. Clippers Sunday, April 29

Eastern Conference

Philadelphia/OR/New York at Chicago Saturday, April 28

New York/OR/Philadelphia at Miami Saturday, April 28

Orlando at Indiana Saturday, April 28

Boston at Atlanta Sunday, April 29
OR Atlanta at Boston Sunday, April 29

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.