NBA Playoff Picture: Knicks Keep East Interesting

Well, at least the New York Knicks are ensuring that the East playoff chase maintains maximum drama. A breakdown of the impacts of Tuesday's results on the playoff races can be found below the jump.

Two things happened in the Atlantic Division: the Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Miami Heat, putting the Boston Celtics 1.5 games clear for the division lead, and the Knicks fell to the Indiana Pacers, putting New York four games behind Boston and 2.5 games behind Philly.

The combination of Indiana's win and the Orlando Magic's Dwightless loss to the Detroit Pistons combined to give us a new No. 3 seed, as well: the Pacers jumped up with a half-game lead over Orlando, who drops to No. 5. Though Orlando is at No. 5 and Boston is No. 4 on account of leading the Atlantic, the Magic have a game up on the C's for home court advantage.

Miami's win moved the Heat a half-game closer to the Chicago Bulls for the No. 1 seed, but there is still a 2.5-game margin.

The Milwaukee Bucks had the night off, but drew a half-game closer to the postseason with the Knicks' loss. Milwaukee is now 1.5 games behind New York and four games behind Philadelphia.

The West was fairly light on Tuesday. The San Antonio Spurs throttled the Cleveland Cavaliers, earning a half-game in its chase of the Oklahoma City Thunder for No. 1. The Spurs are now two games back. The L.A. Lakers beat the New Jersey Nets to add a half-game to its lead in the No. 3 spot (now 1.5 games over the Clippers). The Memphis Grizzlies narrowly defeated the Golden State Warriors, which moved them a full game clear of the Dallas Mavericks for No. 5, and within 1.5 of the No. 4 Clippers.

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