The New York Knicks and Orlando Magic have two games remaining on each of their schedules in deciding who receives the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks stand at 34-30 and the Magic are 36-28 going into their final two games on Wednesday and Thursday. Things are pretty simple. If the Knicks win out and the Magic lose out, the Knicks will get the 6th seed and play the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs as they hold the tiebreaker over the Magic.
The Magic play their next two at home against the Charlotte Bobcats, who currently hold the lowest winning percentage in NBA history and are then on the road against a Memphis Grizzlies, team that will still have playoff seeding and possible home court advantage in the first round to play for. The Knicks will be playing at home against the Los Angeles Clippers who also still have a lot to play for and then at the aforementioned Charlotte Bobcats.
It’s quite clear that the Magic have been in somewhat of a freefall mode, going 3-7 in the games Dwight Howard has missed since April 1st. However, as said before, they are going against one of the worst teams in NBA history. In a Knicks best scenario, the Grizzlies should be able to easily take care of the Magic in the last game of the season, but it’s going to be tough for the Magic to lose against the Bobcats at home. Knicks fans have to hope that the Bobcats know, with one more victory this season, they will not have the worst winning percentage of all time. Hopefully, this will make them go out and play for pride and find a way to beat the Magic. Knicks fans also must hope does not happen against the Knicks on the last night of the season.
Now to another issue: Amar’e Stoudemire. Stat is back and it’s still unclear if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Lets not look at the first game back against the Cavaliers, as he was clearly rusty coming off his bulging disc injury. Stat, on Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks, showed signs of why he is still one of the most prolific scorers in the game, scoring 22 points on 13 shot attempts while mostly being matched up against undersized, but physical, Ivan Johnson. He also showed why he is one of the worst defensive big men in the game. There were many times where Stat looks clueless and lost on the defensive end of the court. It is also natural to think about how his offensive game will suffer when Tyson Chandler is back in the lineup as he clogs up the middle with an additional defender and how that will affect Carmelo as well. Wednesday and Thursday may be the most important days of the Knicks season, as their playoff seeding will most likely make the difference of an early first round exit or a second round with Linsanity back in the fold.