New York Knicks clinch playoff spot for the first time since 2013

The New York Knicks have secured their first playoff appearance since 2013, after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 106-100 on Sunday. The Knicks improved to 38-30 and clinched at least the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, ending a seven-year drought that was the longest active streak in the NBA.

But the Knicks are not satisfied with just making the postseason. They have bigger goals in mind, such as securing home-court advantage in the first round and advancing beyond the opening series.

They also want to continue their remarkable turnaround under coach Tom Thibodeau, who has instilled a culture of defense, toughness and accountability in his first season in New York.

“We’re happy, but we’re not satisfied,” said Julius Randle, who had 25 points and 14 rebounds against the Clippers. “We’ve been checking boxes all season. First it was to have a winning record. Then it was to make the playoffs. Now we want more. We want to keep checking boxes.”

The Knicks have four games left in the regular season, starting with a matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. They are currently fourth in the East, one game ahead of the fifth-seeded Atlanta Hawks and two games ahead of the sixth-seeded Miami Heat.

The top four teams will have home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The Knicks have been one of the biggest surprises of the season, exceeding all expectations and defying all odds. They have the fourth-best defense in the league, allowing only 104.7 points per 100 possessions.

They have also been clutch in close games, winning 15 of their 21 games decided by five points or less.

They have been led by Randle, who is having a career year and is a strong candidate for Most Improved Player and All-NBA honors.

He is averaging 24 points, 10.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game, while shooting 41.6 percent from three-point range. He has also been a vocal leader and a tone-setter for the team.

But Randle is not alone. He has received support from a balanced and cohesive roster that features veterans like Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson and Reggie Bullock, as well as young players like RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin.

Thibodeau has done a masterful job of maximizing their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses.

The Knicks have also developed a strong bond with their fans, who have been starved for success for years. The Knicks have sold out all of their limited-capacity home games since fans were allowed back at Madison Square Garden in February.

They have also received loud cheers from their supporters on the road, especially in Los Angeles, where they had a large contingent of fans wearing blue and orange.

The Knicks are not only back in the playoffs, but they are also back in the hearts and minds of basketball fans across the country. They have proven that they are a legitimate threat in the East and that they are not afraid of any challenge.

They have also shown that they are not content with just being good. They want to be great.

“We’re not here to celebrate,” Thibodeau said after clinching the playoff berth. “We’re here to work. We have a lot more to do. We’re going to keep working and keep improving. We’re not satisfied with anything.”

Final Thoughts: The Knicks’ Remarkable Turnaround

The New York Knicks’ return to the playoffs is a testament to their resilience and determination. After years of disappointment and dysfunction, they have finally found a winning formula under coach Tom Thibodeau.

They have embraced a culture of defense, toughness and accountability that has transformed them into one of the best teams in the league.

Led by Julius Randle, who has emerged as an All-Star and a franchise player, the Knicks have exceeded all expectations and defied all odds. They have developed a strong bond with their fans, who have been starved for success for years.

They have sold out all of their limited-capacity home games and have received loud cheers from their supporters on the road.

But the Knicks are not content with just making the playoffs. They have bigger goals in mind, such as securing home-court advantage in the first round and advancing beyond the opening series.

They have a tough road ahead, with games against the Lakers, Spurs, Hornets and Celtics remaining on their schedule. But they have proven that they are up to the challenge.

The Knicks have been one of the biggest surprises of the season, and their success is a reminder that anything is possible in the NBA. They have shown that with hard work, dedication and a winning culture, even the most downtrodden franchises can rise to the top. The Knicks are back, and they are here to stay.