Knicks, the next step is to reach the conference finals

A six-game second-round exit would have been music to the ears of Knicks fans earlier this season, following a disappointing sweepstakes appearance last year.

In addition to being a major step forward, it serves as a blueprint for the franchise’s future goals, none of which eclipse winning a championship.

Given their performance this postseason, it’s hard to imagine the Knicks being more than a chunk away from contention. They have three All-Star caliber players approaching or at their primes and a set of depth pieces to fill in rotation spots or trade-in for upgrades.

With this current group, the Knicks dominated one of the best regular season teams in the league and took a perennial contender down the stretch.

Assuming the right piece comes in, they can take the next step and make it to the conference finals and beyond.