Latest Knicks intel casts major doubt on the Knicks' playoff chances

Jalen Brunson
Jalen Brunson / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

The New York Knicks can't seem to catch a break. With the regular season winding down and playoff teams fighting for seeding, they find themselves limping to the finish line.

When healthy, the Knicks have gone an impressive 15-2 with OG Anunoby but he has been in and out of the lineup and may miss most of their remaining regular-season games as they look to get him healthy. That will obviously affect their ability to improve their playoff positioning but getting their best players healthy should be their number one priority.

Anunoby is just one of three key Knicks that remain out as they enter the final stretch of the regular season. Both Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson are still out of action and both players don't have a clear timetable for their return, casting doubt on the Knicks ability to make a deep post-season run without three starters.

Can the Knicks still make a deep run in the playoffs?

Currently, the Knicks are just three games out of second in the Eastern Conference, while also being only four games ahead of the Miami Heat for eighth. Without Anunoby, Randle, and Mitchell, they may have trouble surpassing the Milwaukee Bucks and the Cleveland Cavaliers to secure home-court advantage for at least the first two rounds of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

In fact, if they are not careful, they could fall to seventh or eighth and have to play in the play-in tournament. Their reward for winning it would be a first-round matchup with the league-leading Boston Celtics or Bucks in the first round. That would be the absolute worst-case scenario for the Knicks, but with just 13 games remaining, it would take some doing for them to fall to eighth.

However, if they are without Anunoby, Randle, and Mitchell, then they will still face a tough playoff guantlet. If none of them are ready after the final three weeks of the season, then they each could make their return in the first round of the playoffs, but it's unclear how effective they would be in that scenario.

All in all, the Knicks will be without three key players down the stretch. It's unclear if or when they will return but the Knicks could face a tough path through the playoffs either way.