It has been a few days since Josh Hart finally admitted that some or all of the cavalry the undermanned Knicks have been waiting on for weeks might not be coming back to provide front-line reinforcements before the end of the regular season.

Hart had said Sunday night the existing roster no longer can operate under the assumption that key forwards Julius Randle and OG Anunoby will be back in time, adding that the Knicks should be “pleasantly surprised” if they become available before the playoffs begin in barely two weeks.

The Knicks just last week were aiming to move up to the No. 3 or even No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, but they suddenly have to be looking over their shoulder in the standings after suffering their third straight loss Tuesday night in Miami.

Tom Thibodeau’s undermanned squad now sits in fifth, with the same record as the Magic, who control the season-series tiebreaker. With seven games to play, the Knicks (44-31) also are just 1.5 games ahead of the No. 6 Pacers (43-33) and, perhaps more significantly, two games ahead of the No. 7 Heat (42-33) while also owning the tiebreaker to avoid the play-in.

2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.