Knicks Continue Slide, Fall To Bucks As Playoff Race Tightens

Mar 9, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith (8) drives towards the basket as Milwaukee Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy (17) defends during the second quarter at the Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The Knicks dropped a game to the Bucks on Friday, and because the Cavaliers and Pistons won, the East playoff race got a little tighter.

When Linsanity reached its apex before All-Star Weekend, it seemed as if the New York Knicks had cinched up the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. In fact, when New York passed the Boston Celtics, it appeared that if anything the C's would be left to hold off challenges from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks.

But Boston has been hot and the Knicks have fallen apart. It appears New York will be stuck in a dogfight for the No. 8 seed in the East. That race tightened on Friday as the Knicks lost 119-114 to the Bucks on Friday. The Cavs stunned Oklahoma City, and now Milwaukee and Cleveland are each two games behind New York for that No. 8 spot.

The Knicks have two games left against each of the challengers. The Detroit Pistons, who beat Atlanta on Friday, are just four games behind the Knicks, and have plenty of time left to get into the mix. Unless New York can turn it back on quickly, this is going to be a harrowing sprint to the finish in the East.

Of course, a No. 8 seed comes with a first-round series against Chicago or Miami, so there's a high probability of a sweep anyway.

For more on the Knicks, visit Posting And Toasting and SB Nation New York. For more on the Bucks, visit BrewHoop.

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