April 26 update: Knicks fans, your decade-long suffering has finally ended. New York defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 to clinch the series 4-1 and advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The Knicks will play either the Bucks or Heat in the second round. Miami currently holds a 3-1 edge on Milwaukee in that series.
The New York Knicks are giving their fanbase some hope for the future after clinching a spot in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. After signing guard Jalen Brunson in free agency last summer, the Knicks have witnessed a massive return on investment as they’ve secured the No. 5 seed and a first-round matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
For New York, it presents an opportunity to win their first NBA playoff series in a decade.
Knicks playoff history
Brunson has paired incredibly well to form a core trio alongside Julius Randle and R.J. Barrett, and the result has been one of the league’s most balanced teams on both ends of the floor. New York ranks 12th in scoring offense (115.6 PPG) and 10th in scoring defense (112.5 PPG allowed). In the postseason where rotations tighten and defense is paramount, New York’s ability to limit opponent’s scoring could serve them well, in particular against their first-round opponent.
The Knicks will face off against the No. 4 Cavaliers, led by a talented backcourt of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. Thankfully, New York has proven to have the Cavaliers’ number this season, as the Knicks won the regular-season series 3-1. The Knicks averaged 108.8 PPG on 48% shooting as a team when matched up against Cleveland this season, giving them a nice edge despite the Cavaliers holding a homecourt advantage.
Eliminating the Cavaliers would mark New York’s first playoff series win in a decade, as the last time the Knicks advanced past the opening round was in the 2013 NBA playoffs. That Knicks team finished 54-28 and first in the Atlantic Division, earning the No. 2 overall seed in the Eastern Conference. Carmelo Anthony finished as the team’s leading scorer after averaging 28.7 PPG on 45% shooting from the field, and 38% from beyond the arc.