East playoff matchups set: Knicks jump up to No. 2 seed with OT win against Bulls


NBA: Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks

NBA: Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks

It wasn’t pretty, but it wouldn’t be Knicks basketball if it was.

New York needed overtime to overcome their self-inflicted wounds — 21 turnovers and some poor clock management late — and the Chicago Bulls, but the Knicks did it with a combination of Jalen Brunson and hustle plays.

New York moved up to the No. 2 seed in the East with a 120-119 win over the Bulls, combined with the shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks getting blown out by the Magic 113-88.

Let’s break it down (the dates and times for the playoff series have not yet been finalized).

Eastern Conference first-round playoff matchups

1. Boston Celtics vs. 8. Play-in team (Heat/76ers/Bulls/Hawks)
2. New York Knicks vs. 7. Play-in team (Heat/76ers)
3. Milwaukee Bucks vs. 6. Indiana Pacers
4. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 5. Orlando Magic

Eastern Conference Play-in games

Wednesday, April 17
• 7/8 Game: Miami at Philadelphia
• 9/10 Game: Atlanta at Chicago (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Friday, April 19
• Winner of 9/10 at loser of 7/8

Some initial thoughts:
• The Knicks fought their way to the No. 2 seed and got rewarded with a very dangerous team, either the defending Eastern Conference champions or maybe the hottest team in the East, Joel Embiid and the 76ers.

• Boston likely ends up with the other team of Philadelphia and Miami (the one that loses the 7/8 game), and while the Celtics should win that’s a tough way to start.

• Orlando has a legitimate shot to beat a slumping Cavaliers team and advance.

• Bucks vs. Pacers is a clash of styles, but everything starts with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s health.

• Coach Nick Nurse said postgame Joel Embiid will be healthy and available to play on Wednesday.

• This is the Celtics conference to lose. Anything less than a trip to the Finals is a major disappointment after being the best team in the league all season.



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