After Tuesday morning's shootaround at the Knicks' training facility, Mike Woodson pointed to those three teams being on his radar.
"Our scouts will come in to New York after our game in Cleveland and we'll start preparing for the playoffs based on possibility of the three teams that we can play," he said. "I think Atlanta, Boston and Chicago. [The scouts] do all the prep work in terms of going out scouting and getting their information back, and then it's our job as the coaching staff to come up with the game plan and put it together."
With that said, here's a look at the good and bad of each playoff matchup:
2. A potentially unhealthy Kevin Garnett, the team's defensive anchor, who's been recently dealing with left ankle inflammation.
3. Their poor road record (13-25).
4. Their lack of backcourt scoring (whereas the Knicks have plenty of that).
5. Several new and younger pieces, added later in the season, who are still trying to jell together.
1. A potentially healthy Garnett.
2. Paul Pierce's clutch playmaking (the best match to Melo in any of these playoff matchups).
3. Coach Doc Rivers' defensive pedigree and the intense physicality the Celtics would bring to the longtime rivalry series.
4. They're a veteran team that never quits and always seems to play better when they're down in games.
5. The TD Garden's challenging playoff atmosphere.
There's an additional factor that makes one of these three teams the better first-round matchup: playoff inexperience. That would be of the Hawks. The Knicks, on the other hand, only feature three players who haven't been to the postseason (Pablo Prigioni, Chris Copeland and James White).
Which team do you want to see the Knicks face in the first round? Leave us your comments below.