Knicks Notes: Stoudemire, Practice

This season marks the first time since 2000-01 that the Knicks have been able to clinch a playoff spot in consecutive years. Who they will face in the first round is yet to be determined, as the Bulls, Heat, and Pacers remain possibilities. In order to obtain a matchup with Indiana, New York has to win its next two games in addition to the Magic losing its final two games. For the team to fall no lower than seventh (if Orlando keeps sixth), the Knicks would have to at least finish with the same record as Philadelphia. Otherwise, they fall to eighth and give way for a continuation of New York and Chicago's recent competitive battles. You can read more about tonight's Knicks news here:
  • Amare Stoudemire appears ready to another post-season opportunity with the Knicks, saying that last year's sweep at the hands of Boston left a "sour taste in our mouth." Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York takes a closer look at how Amare's pairing with Carmelo Anthony can work based on what he saw from New York's win in Atlanta. 
  • Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes that while some players expected a light day on the eve of a back-to-back to finish the season, coach Mike Woodson upped the intensity of practice in preparation of their playoff opener this weekend.  
  • Stoudemire plans to play the next two games as long as the Knicks have a chance to move up in the Eastern Conference standings, according to Ian Begley of ESPN New York. Begley also wrote that Amare could sit the last game of the season against the Bobcats if the Knicks can no longer improve their playoff seeding at that point. 
  • Mike Kurylo of the New York Times' Off the Dribble blog examines the possibility that the Knicks could currently be a stronger team than their overall stats this year would indicate, crediting the manner in which the team has been performing since All-Star break. 

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