As the New York Knicks look to wrap up the last week of the season a very surprising development has occurred. A top-four seeding and a chance to have home-court advantage for the playoffs is within grasp for the Knicks. As the season starts to wind down the Knicks control their own fate. If the Knicks simply win out the remaining four games on their schedule then they will be crowned with the fourth seeding in the eastern conference. Let’s take a look at the Knicks matchups this week as well as my predictions.
LOS ANGLES LAKERS
Up first are the Los Angles Lakers on Tuesday, May eleventh. The Lakers are currently in the midst of a rough stretch. The purple and gold have been without LeBron James and Anthony Davis for much of the season. In their last ten games, the Lakers have only won two of them. The last time these two teams faced off the New York Knicks came away with a 111-96 victory. Julius Randle had a game-high 34 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists. Taj Gibson also had a strong game off the bench with 10 rebounds in only seventeen minutes.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
The second matchup for the New York Knicks will be the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, May thirteenth. The Spurs are currently in contention for a play-in spot with a 32-35 record on the year. The last time these two teams faced off the Spurs came away with a 119-93 victory. Trey Lyles had team-high 18 points for the Spurs. Additionally, Dejounte Murray had a strong game with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.
The third matchup for the New York Knicks will be the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, May fifteenth. Currently holding the eighth seed in the eastern conference with a 33-34 record are the Hornets. The Hornets are five and five in their last ten games. The last time these two teams faced each other the Knicks came away with a 109-97 victory. RJ Barrett absolutely torched the Hornets with 24 points while shooting six for eleven from the three-point line. Immanuel Quickley also chipped in with four threes off the bench.
The final matchup for the New York Knicks this week will be the Boston Celtics on Sunday, May sixteenth. The Celtics are desperate to move up in the standing as they are currently 35-33. The last time these two teams the Celtics came away with the victory that night 101-99. Jaylen Brown led all players with thirty-two points, ten rebounds, and three assists. Jayson Tatum also chipped in with 25 points.
My prediction for the Knicks and Lakers has the Knicks coming away with a victory. Lebron James and Dennis Schroder are listed as out for this game while a bunch of other players is listed as day to day including Anthony Davis. The Knicks play a physical brand of defense that a depleted Lakers team will not be able to handle. Let’s also not forget that Julius Randle tends to play well against his former team.
The Knicks will be out for vengeance in this matchup against the Spurs. The Spurs are reeling as of late going 4-6 in their last ten games. The Knicks will be too much to handle for the Spurs in this game. With the New York Knicks in contention for home-court advantage in the playoffs, they will be playing with a sense of urgency.
The Charlotte Hornets led by rookie phenom LaMelo Ball are in playoff contention. Michael Jordan and the rest of the front office have a lot to be proud of. However, the Knicks defensive pressure will cool off the Hornets in this matchup. Coach Tom Thibodeau will have the New York Knicks defense ready for the Hornets guard-orientated offense.
My final prediction for the last matchup of the regular season has the Knicks losing to the Celtics. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are two of the most explosive forwards in the league. This will be a very important game for the Celtics as they are hoping to avoid a play-in seeding. Even the New York Knicks top-ranked defense will struggle against the one-two punch of the Celtics.