NBA Playoff Odds: Will the Knicks Make the Postseason?
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks.
New York Knicks NBA Playoff Odds
|Current Place||No. 6|
|Data as of Tuesday, odds via FanDuel|
The Knicks are in one of the most ideal positions of any team in the league. They are outperforming their low preseason expectations but don’t have championship aspirations, which means they’re essentially playing with house money.
Not only are the Knicks in position to make the playoffs, entering Tuesday they are fourth in the East and have a legitimate chance to attain home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Tom Thibodeau has completely changed the culture of the Knicks, taking them from 23rd in Defensive Rating (113) to a team that is third in Defensive Rating (108.2) in just one season.
They’re consistently holding teams to a league low 33.9% on 3-point field goals despite allowing the sixth-highest frequency of 3-point field goal attempts. I expected that to eventually regress, but it hasn’t — the Knicks are holding teams to the second-lowest eFG% (51.5%) and are in the top five in opponent field goal percentage from every area of the floor.
New York’s weakness this season has been its 21st-ranked offense, which scores just 110.5 points per 100 possessions in non garbage time minutes, according to Cleaning the Glass. However, the Knicks have been on a tear recently, scoring 122.8 points per 100 possessions over the past two weeks, which ranks second in the NBA.
Post All-Star break, the Knicks rank second in 3-point percentage, making 40.4% of their attempts. The hot shooting has been a big part of their late season surge as they’ve shot greater than 40% from deep in 11 of their past 15 games.
They’ve been able to win games even when they don’t shoot the ball well, though. In their April 12 game against the Lakers they won by 15 despite shooting just 5-of-27 (18.5%) from behind the arc.
The Knicks have just 10 games remaining, their magic numbers are three for the play-in tournament and nine to secure the No. 6 seed.
They don’t have an easy schedule ahead of them with a West Coast road trip on the horizon in which they face the Nuggets, Suns, Clippers and Lakers in a four game stretch.
Nevertheless, they have favorable matchups against the Rockets, Bulls without Zach LaVine and should be able to win enough games to clinch their first playoff spot since the 2012-13 season.
Before the trade deadline, the Knicks were -162 to make the postseason and that has ballooned to -1500. If you are looking to buy in on the Knicks’ success, you’ve missed your window to capitalize.