Livescore Wednesday, May 29
Newsletter
[gtranslate]

The Knicks are probably going to finish in third place in the Eastern Conference.

To move up to the No. 2 seed, they’d need to win each of their final two games (vs. Brooklyn on Friday; vs. Chicago on Sunday) while Milwaukee lost its final two games (at OKC on Friday; at Orlando on Sunday).

The Bulls, it should be noted, are locked into the No. 9 seed after their win Thursday against Detroit.

So Chicago may be resting players against New York on Sunday.

To move back to the No. 4 seed, the Knicks would need to lose their final two games and the Cavs (vs. Indiana on Friday; vs. Charlotte on Sunday) or Magic (at Philadelphia on Friday; vs. Milwaukee on Sunday) would need to win their final two games.

The Knicks can finish no lower than fifth at this point. Indiana can still jump New York in the standings because it owns a tiebreaker over the Knicks.

To pass New York, the Pacers would need to win their final two games while the Knicks lose their last two. In this scenario, Cleveland would finish below the Knicks because New York owns the tiebreaker over the Cavs.

If you’re a Knick fan who is hoping to avoid a first-round matchup against Philly, here’s what you need to know: to finish sixth, the Sixers would need to win their final two games (vs. Orlando on Friday; vs. Nets on Sunday) while the Pacers lose their final two games (at Cleveland on Friday; vs. Atlanta on Sunday).

The Cleveland-Indiana game on Friday should move the needle significantly in the East. The Pacers are up, 2-1, in the season series. If they win on Friday, they could be in fourth place in the East.

*Orlando will likely own the tie-breaker against Cleveland if both clubs finish with the same record; Orlando will win by virtue of its Southeast Division title. Orlando also owns the tiebreaker against Indiana.

JALEN IN MVP CONVERSATION?

If the Knicks win their final two games, they’ll have their first 50-win season since 2012-13. That season was the last year a Knick received votes for the MVP award (Carmelo Anthony finished third in MVP voting that season, though I’d argue that his best individual season in New York came the following year.)

Jalen Brunson may break that streak this season. Brunson won’t win the MVP but he’s bulldozed his way into the conversation. TNT’s Stan Van Gundy said throughout Thursday’s Knicks-Celtics broadcast that Brunson was an MVP candidate.

He has the numbers and the narrative to be part of the conversation. Brunson entered Thursday’s game against Boston averaging 31 points and seven assists since Julius Randle went down with a shoulder injury. Brunson’s led the Knicks to a 20-15 record in that span. All but seven of those games were played without OG Anunoby. Mitchell Robinson played in eight of those games, but he’s working his way back from early December foot surgery.

Entering Thursday’s game against Boston, New York was a +8 in net rating with Brunson on the court during Randle’s absence.

Where would this Knicks team be without Brunson? Are they a play-in team? Maybe. With Brunson, they enter the final weekend of the season with a chance to finish second in the conference. That’s why he is getting deserved attention as a late-season MVP candidate.

Will he win the award over Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander? No. But he certainly deserves to be in the conversation and garner some votes from the panel.

Read the full article here

Leave A Reply