The Knicks were hardly facing the normal version of the Celtics, but a win is a win, and win the Knicks did.
And thanks to the Sunday’s 96-92 home victory, the Knicks are owners of the No. 4 seed in the playoffs. They will open against the fifth-seeded Hawks.
It’s been quite a turnaround for the Knicks (41-31) under first-year coach Tom Thibodeau, as this marks their first postseason appearance since 2013.
R.J. Barrett led the Knicks with 22 points, and Julius Randle recorded 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Thibodeau was asked prior to Sunday’s game if he expected things to go this well.
Before taking the court Sunday, Thibodeau was asked if he thought on the last day of the regular season he’d need one win to wrap up fourth place.
“I didn’t know to be honest with you,” Thibodeau said. “If we did the right thing, we would have had chance to be a decent team. This team continues to improve and grow. It’s not surprising when you’re around them every day and see the commitment they’ve made.”
The Celtics (36-36) are headed for the East’s play-in tournament as the seventh seed.
Get the full Knicks-Celtics game story from Marc Berman of the New York Post here.