Knicks clinch at least an NBA play-in spot after Raptors loss

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How Knicks can avoid postseason play-in trap

Even if the Knicks lose their final nine games, they are assured of playing in “postseason” games.

Toronto’s loss Saturday has clinched the Knicks at least a spot in the play-in tournament between the Nos. 7 and 10 seeds.

Assured of a top-10 finish in the East, the Knicks (35-28) begin their six-game road trip Sunday in Houston. Winners of 10 of 11 games, the Knicks are in fourth place – one game ahead of fifth-place Atlanta and 1 ½ games ahead of sixth-place Boston.

The Knicks are hoping to avoid the play-in event that features the seventh-seeded team vs. the eighth-seeded team and the No. 9 seed facing the No. 10 seed. The winner of the 7 vs. 8 game automatically makes the playoffs. The loser faces the winner of the 9 vs. 10 game for the final spot.

If the Knicks crap out in the play-in event, they are back in the lottery – their playoff drought extending to eight seasons.

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