Despite the fact that the Knicks‘ playoff chances appeared to be slipping away before the All-Star break, head coach Jeff Hornacek has continued to insist in recent weeks that the team is continuing to push for the postseason. However, heading into Tuesday’s game against Indiana, Hornacek finally relented on that stance, as Marc Berman of The New York Post details.
“Whether we’re in the playoffs or not in the playoffs, we’re going to play hard the whole time. The playoffs may not be in reach, but this especially could be for other young guys to get some time to show what they really can do,” Hornacek said, acknowledging that the Knicks’ playoff chances are all but dead. “Until you’re mathematically done, you’re always going for it, but sometimes it’s realistic. Are you going to be able to make up seven games in ? Many, many things would have to happen for that.”
Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:
- Hornets forward Nicolas Batum, who has been battling painful migraines, will undergo a CT scan on his brain, league sources tell Chris Haynes of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Hopefully that scan doesn’t reveal any serious health concerns for Batum.
- Since acquiring Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker, the Raptors have been without star point guard Kyle Lowry, making them the great unknown in the Eastern Conference, writes Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. As Lewenberg outlines, Toronto may have the highest ceiling and the lowest floor of any of the East’s challengers to Cleveland.
- Meanwhile, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star suggests that Raptors backup point guards Fred VanVleet and especially Delon Wright have been opening some eyes in Lowry’s absence.
- In a piece for The Oklahoman, Berry Tramel makes a case for why Wizards head coach Scott Brooks deserves to win the NBA’s Coach of the Year award for his performance in his first season in Washington.