Paul Pierce sees the Knicks as ECF contenders

The addition of Anunoby gives the Knicks a chance to reach the Eastern Conference finals, according to former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce.

“I’m looking east. There’s the Celtics and everyone else a couple levels below. Milwaukee is also a level below the Celtics. If the Knicks can find a way to avoid the Celtics in the second round [of the playoffs], they could get to the conference finals,” Pierce said on the Jan. 12 episode of Showtime Basketball’s “KG Certified podcast.”

The Knicks have yet to defeat the Celtics this season. But their three losses came before the Anunoby trade. Against other Eastern contenders, they have a record of 1-3 against the Bucks and 1-0 against the 76ers.

Last Christmas, the Knicks beat the Bucks for the first time 129-22 behind Jalen Brunson’s 38 points. They were dominant against the 76ers with Anunoby around, defeating them at home 128-92 on Jan. 5.