The Knicks would technically make the 2020 postseason under a proposed play-in tournament, as I detailed for Heavy.com. The tournament, which is just one of the options being discussed for the NBA’s return, would have the 8-12 seeds in each conference battle for the right to play the No. 1 seed in a series.
New York sits 12th in the Eastern Conference and would take on the Wizards, who hold the ninth spot. The Hornets (10th) would take on the Bulls (11th) and the winner of this bracket would face the Magic to decide which team gets a typical first-round playoff series against the Bucks.
Again, the scenario is just one of many being floated and is nowhere near concrete, though seeing the Knicks in the postseason would nonetheless be an unexpected sight.
Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- Bradley Beal would arguably be the best player on the Eastern Conference side of the bracket, as I explained in the same piece. I’d speculate that Washington—a team that overachieved this season—would be favored in the first-round matchup against New York.
- Roughly 11 weeks after undergoing shoulder surgery, Nets guard Kyrie Irving published an Instagram story today suggesting he has returned to the gym, as Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily relays (Twitter link). Irving is in year one of a four-year deal with Brooklyn — it’s not clear if he’d have an opportunity to return if the NBA season resumes this summer.
- Thunder coach Billy Donovan had a major impact on Jaylen Brown‘s game, as the Celtics forward explains (h/t Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald). Donovan coached Brown on Team USA’s Under-18 team a few years back. “He told me he wasn’t playing me because he said I didn’t play hard,” Brown said. “… He told me you’re only going to be in the league for three years because you don’t play hard…I was so mad I was crying. But I think Billy Donovan had a big impact on my drive for sure. I’m in the NBA now, and hopefully I have a couple more years now to go, so we’ll see.”