Julius Randle lifted his arms as the game and regular season came to a close after the Knicks, as they often do, survived Sunday. New Yorkers are far more excited to see the Knicks play in the playoffs and it's easy to see why. The Knicks own Madison Square Garden, have two championship rings, a storied history, and almost own Generation X and Baby Boomers.
The Knicks defeated the Celtics 96-92 on Sunday, giving them the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference. Julius Randle and RJ Barrett combined for 42 points. Boston rested the majority of its usual rotation players in preparation for the 2021 State Farm Play-In Tournament, which is already locked in at the seventh position.
In the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs series, the 4th seeded Knicks will face the 5th seeded Atlanta Hawks, who have home-court advantage. They are back in the postseason discourse following a seven-year absence, which is more significant than Atlanta's three-year absence.
The Knicks have one week to prepare before their first game on 22 May versus Atlanta Hawks. The Newyorkers are undefeated against Hawks this season (3-0), with the last of their win coming on April 21 by 10 points.
Trae Young of Atlanta will get some love on All-NBA ballots thanks to his 25.3 points per game and 9.4 assists per game. He is the engine that drives the Hawks' offence, assisting Clint Capela and John Collins fast dunks around the rim. In three games against New York, he averaged 24.7 and 12 points.
Tom Thibodeau's defensive efforts are deserving of praise. The Knicks would not have enjoyed the regular season if Julius Randle hadn't unexpectedly emerged. Randle is best amongst his teammates with 24.1 points per game.
When is the match?
The tentative date for the playoff is 22 May, and the timing has not been confirmed yet.
When and Where to Watch the playoff?
The game can be live-streamed on NBA League Pass.