Can the Knicks finish the season as the second seed in the East?

With only nine games left in the regular season, the New York Knicks are one step away from clinching the second seed in the Eastern Conference. At 44-29, they are currently fourth, but only a half game behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for third and two games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for second.

New York had a chance to get within one game of the second seed Friday night, but lost in overtime to the San Antonio Spurs despite Jalen Brunson’s career-high 61 points, a crushing defeat for a Spurs team rebuilding as the Knicks failed to capitalize on a great opportunity to turn the table around.

So now, their margin for error for being the second seed is smaller. Their next matchup is against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are tied for first in the Western Conference with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Five of the nine remaining games are against teams with winning records, including another against the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.

Additionally, they only have four home games remaining, and while they are very solid on the road, they are 24-13 at home this season, the seventh-best mark in the NBA. Without homecourt advantage, the climb to the second seed will be tough, as it will likely require them to get at least 50 wins, something they haven’t done since the 2012-2013 season.

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