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Thursday, March 27, 2014
Opening Tip: Tough road to make playoffs

By Ian Begley

Anthony
The Knicks, led by Carmelo Anthony's 36 points, willed their way to a pivotal win in Sac Town.
It's almost impossible to predict anything about this Knicks season, so any bold proclamations about the Knicks' playoff chances should be taken with a grain of salt.

Remember, this is a team that followed a seven-game losing streak with an eight-game winning streak.

So who knows if the Knicks can win enough over the next 10 games to get into the playoffs.

But we can be sure about one thing: It won't be easy.

The Knicks play just one team currently under .500 (the Utah Jazz) in their next 10 games. They have difficult games against the Phoenix Suns (43-29) and Golden State Warriors (44-27) coming up. They have two games against the Brooklyn Nets and two against the Toronto Raptors in the final month of the season. They also play the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards.

All of those teams are currently in playoff position.

The Knicks are a combined 2-8 against them this season.

The Atlanta Hawks have lost four straight and appear to be in a free fall. They lost in embarrassing fashion to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday and have to play the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday. If Atlanta loses, the Knicks will have a chance to cut the lead to one game with a win over Phoenix.

Of course, had the Knicks won games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week, they'd be percentage points ahead of Atlanta in the standings.

Now, it seems like they will have to win at least six games to get into the playoffs.

Up now: The Knicks beat the Sacramento Kings on the strength of a combined 65 points from J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony.

What’s next: The Knicks will face the Suns in Phoenix on Friday.

Question: How many wins will the Knicks need to get into the playoffs?

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