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East playoff matchups set: Knicks jump to No. 2 seed with OT win against Bulls

NBA: Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks

It wasn’t pretty, but if it was, it wouldn’t be Knicks basketball.

New York needed overtime to overcome their self-inflicted wounds — 21 turnovers and some poor clock management late — and the Chicago Bulls, but the Knicks did it with a combination of Jalen Brunson and hustle.

New York moved up to No. 2 in the East with a 120-119 win over the Bulls, combined with the small Milwaukee Bucks getting blown out by the Magic 113-88.

Let’s break it down (the dates and times for the playoff series have not been finalized yet).

Playoff games in the first round of the Eastern Conference

1.Boston Celtics vs. 8. Play-in Team (Heat/76ers/Bulls/Hawks)
2.New York Knicks vs. 7. Play-in Team (Heat/76ers)
3. Milwaukee Bucks vs. 6. Indiana Pacers
4. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 5. Orlando Magic

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Eastern Conference Play-in Games

Wednesday April 17
• 7/8 match: Miami and Philadelphia
• 9/10 game: Atlanta at Chicago (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Friday April 19
• Winner of 9/10 by loser of 7/8

Some initial thoughts:
• The Knicks fought their way into second place and were rewarded with a very dangerous team, either the defending Eastern Conference champions or perhaps the hottest team in the East, Joel Embiid and the 76ers.

• Boston will likely end up with the other team of Philadelphia and Miami (the team that loses the 7/8 game), and while the Celtics should win, that’s a tough way to start.

• Orlando has a legitimate chance to beat a slumping Cavaliers team and advance.

• Bucks vs. Pacers is a clash of styles, but it all starts with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s health.

• Coach Nick Nurse said Joel Embiid will be healthy after the game and available to play Wednesday.

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• This is the Celtics losing conference. Anything less than a trip to the finals is a big disappointment after being the best team in the league all season.

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