TOK Roundtable – New York Knicks Playoff Run Edition

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Every Wednesday at Turn On The Knicks our staff will debate an issue of the week surrounding the team here in Roundtable Format. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter, along with follow the site right here. Let us know if you agree/disagree.

Give your prediction for how far the New York Knicks will go in the NBA Playoffs

Joe Caporoso - I remain of the belief that anything short of a hard-fought series against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals is a failure for this Knicks season. Is Boston always going to be tough, especially with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett? Yes. Regardless, this Knicks team is MUCH better than what Boston will be trotting out this weekend. At the maximum, the Knicks should be pushed to 6 games before taking on the Pacers in round two in what will be a physical, ugly, nasty series. Ultimately, I do think the Knicks will find themselves heading to Miami for Game 5 with the series tied at 2-2. Miami is probably going to take it home from there, but who knows?

Chris Celletti - This is going to seem like a total cop out, but I honestly have no idea how far the Knicks will go this postseason. The Knicks open with Boston, a series they should win but could very well lose. The Knicks are the better team, but the Celtics have proven winners on the court and on the sidelines and ALL the pressure is on the Knicks. The Celtics are playing with house money, which scares the utter crap out of me. Those dudes play and coach great when the pressure is on, so maybe it’s a good thing? I hope! I don’t know, and as you can tell, this first round series is doing the opposite of wonders for my anxiety. I feel like if the Knicks get past the Celtics they should be able to set themselves up with a series against Miami, a team the Knicks truly match up well with. And if I can to get ahead of myself, the Knicks took 3-of-4 against San Antonio and Oklahoma City this year. So in short: the Knicks can win it all or get bounced at any step along the way.

Chris DiGioia - The New York Knicks are heading into the post-season winning 15 of their last 17 games, with their most recent loss coming to the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night. Head Coach Mike Woodson simply mailed that game in from the start, resting Carmelo Anthony in the midst of already clinching the number two seed in the Eastern Conference.

With the Knicks confidence level at an all-time high for this current season, coupled with the fact Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin are on the verge of getting back on the court for the playoffs, they’re capable of showcasing the ability to make a deep run in this post-season.

With the Boston Celtics obviously without Rajon Rondo, combined with the blatant truth that their best players are just not that young, I expect the Knicks to run them out of the gym. However, it would be asinine to write off the Celtics immediately. I don’t believe Boston will have the firepower on the offense end to keep up with the Knicks, and that can be the ultimate downfall for Doc Rivers and the Celtics.

I’m going to get ahead of myself just a little bit, and relay a stat that gives me the confidence that the Knicks can beat the Miami Heat in a seven-game series. The Knicks are number one in the NBA in limiting turnovers, an aspect of the game the Heat’s momentum has been feeding off of all year. Miami’s downright lethal in the open court, and if the Knicks can continue not turning the ball over, and consistently keep the Heat stuck in the half court, anything can happen.

The Knicks sit alone in the NBA with less than 1,000 turnovers during the 2012-2013 regular season, a stat the Heat certainly don’t want to see. Averaging 18.6 points per game off turnovers, the Heat rank third in the NBA in points off turnovers, so the Knicks are capable of cutting straight into the strength of their game. I’m looking for the Knicks to make a strong push, deep into the post-season.

Matt FritzAnything less than a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, in my opinion, will be another wasted season for the Knicks. With that being said, that trip, will not come easy. First things first, the Knicks need to get knock off a Celtics team that is surely not what it used to be, but nonetheless, still very dangerous. Assuming the Pacers advance after the first round, which I believe they will, what a matchup that will be against these Knicks. It’s clear that this year’s Knicks and Pacers do not get along very well, and it looks like we could see similarities from those matchups that took place in the 90′s. Ultimately, I do have confidence the Knicks will win that series and end up in the Eastern Conference Finals against that team from South Beach. Can the Knicks knock off the Heat in a seven game series? Yes, they certainly can, but they will have to play nearly flawless basketball. My heart wants to say it will happen, and the Knicks will find their way into the NBA Finals, but I just do not see that happening. I see the Heat winning that series in 6 or perhaps even in a final 7th game.

Kevin Smith - The New York Knicks are going to the Eastern Conference Finals, but I’m not flaunting that statement as fearlessly as many others are. In my humble opinion, the Celtics are being just as overlooked as last year, when they came within a game of advancing to the Finals. The Knicks should be prepared for a dogfight in the first round and if they are able to advance, it could spring enough momentum to carry them through a second round matchup presumably against Indiana. While I do believe New York can beat Miami in a seven game series, I don’t think it happens this year. Last playoffs, the Knicks could barely get Melo a halfway decent look offensively, and when push comes to shove, LeBron simply won’t be taken down by a Knicks franchise that has been one of the league’s most laughable teams during his tenure. As a life-long, glass half empty Knicks fan, I’ll be happy just getting past the Celtics.

Tim Murray - Right now the Knicks are the hottest team in the NBA. They’ve recently come off a thirteen-game winning streak, reached their 50th win, clinched the Atlantic Division title and the second seed of the Eastern Conference and all the while their two biggest scoring threats have had their strongest output of the season. In the first round, the Knicks have home-court advantage against a Rondo-less Celtics squad who I do not see posing as much of a threat as people think. The Celtics just carry a “Knicks-killer” aura with them but at this point its relatively weak in comparison to other years. With that momentum boost the Knicks should then be able to take down the Pacers. Although the Knicks and Pacers have battled back and forth all season the Knicks are the better team at the present moment.

I believe the fate of the Knicks in the playoffs is coming down to how they perform against the Miami Heat but unlike last year this battle will occur during the Eastern Conference Finals. It’s tough to say that the Knicks could beat the Miami Heat in a seven-game series but it’s not out of the question. If the Knicks can continue to play as they have done since March and can find a way to limit the Heat in transition and give Melo opportunities it is absolutely possible.

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