Knicks to face winner of Heat-76ers Play-In game in first round of NBA Playoffs

With their overtime win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon and the Milwaukee Bucks’ blowout loss to the Magic, the Knicks have clinched the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

New York will have a tough road ahead as it awaits the winner of the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers meeting in the Play-In Tournament for their opening-round matchup, which kicks off this weekend.

The Knicks, of course, were eliminated by the Heat last year in six games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, but they did have an edge in the season series this year.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, won three of their four meetings against the Knicks this season but star small forward OG Anunoby appeared in just one of those contests.

With the other games playing out how they did, some questioned whether or not the Knicks would've been better off purposely losing on Sunday to avoid the tougher matchup, as the Cleveland Cavaliers seemingly did.

If the Knicks lost, they would have been the three seed and hosted old friend Obi Toppin and the Indiana Pacers in the first round, but that thought never went through their minds.

“The object is to win, so you put everything you have into winning, that’s the bottom line,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said.

“We don’t care what they’re doing,” Donte DiVincenzo added. “We’re focused on our locker room. Whatever they decide to do, that’s their team, their organization’s decision. Our decision was to play. Everybody played and we won the game.”

Miami and Philadelphia play Wednesday at 7 p.m.