The New York Knicks‘ dream season continued today as the team defeated the Boston Celtics and wrapped up the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
With the W, New York finished the regular season at 41-31 overall. Considering they were expected to win 15-20 games less than that, ending up 10 games over .500 is remarkable.
Then, when you factor in that the Knicks haven’t been to the playoffs since 2013 and have had only two top-four seeds in the last 21 years, well, this season becomes even more surreal. Knicks fans are justifiably on Cloud 9 right now.
In the playoffs, New York will take on the fifth-seeded Atlanta Hawks, and the Knicks will have the important home court advantage. A series win would be only the second one of the Orange and Blue since 2000.
Without question, the Knicks have been one of the best stories in the NBA this year, which is evident by the way those around the league reacted to their win today.
The Knicks, projected everywhere to miss the playoffs and win 25 games tops, have clinched the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 16, 2021
That is a phrase we have waited a long time for around here. https://t.co/rICsXxzXug
— Chris Carlin (@ChrisCarlin) May 16, 2021
Knicks are the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and will face Atlanta in the first round. New York survived against Boston on Sunday to clinch the four seed. Club finished the season 41-31 after going 21-45 last season. Tom Thibodeau has a strong Coach of the Year candidacy.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 16, 2021
The Knicks won more games in this shortened season (41) than they did in the last two seasons combined (38).
It's the 2nd-best Knicks season in the last 20 years. Only 2012-13 Knicks had a better win percentage (went 54-28). Only 4 other Knicks teams made playoffs in that time.
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) May 16, 2021
You cannot quantify heart, resilience and toughness.
— Brandon Tierney 🎤 (@BrandonTierney) May 16, 2021
This is why I don't mind the snickering about how low the bar is for Knicks fans, or how embarrassed fans of a supposedly proud team should be for going nuts over fourth place. The bar IS that low; there's been nearly *nothing* to be proud of for 20 years. We're gonna enjoy this. https://t.co/ARmri1LR6E
— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) May 16, 2021
another heart attack W and the New York Knicks are officially hosting a first round playoff series HIT THE DAMN MUSIC pic.twitter.com/R2p7wGwGd3
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 16, 2021
While star power forward Julius Randle has been the Knicks’ “alpha” all year, the team’s drastic improvement has truly been a team effort. This group is much greater than the sum of its parts.
Now, they get a chance to test themselves in the postseason. Should be fun.