There will be no “We’re second seed’’ or “Bring on Boston’’ T-shirts hanging in the Knicks’ lockers today at the Garden if things go right. But coach Mike Woodson will breathe a sigh of relief. The Knicks, proud wearers of newly minted Atlantic Division champion T-shirts, can lock up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round tango against the Celtics — who clinched the No. 7 seed with a 120-88 win over the Magic last night — with a Garden matinee win over Donnie Walsh’s Pacers. That would render the final two regular-season games meaningless, and would allow Woodson to rest one of the league’s most dynamic 1-2 scoring punches — Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith — the latter of whom has had a sore knee. In light of Kobe Bryant’s Achilles tendon tear, that is no small matter. With the Bronx-born Walsh back in the house today to watch, a Knicks victory would allow Woodson’s team to avoid the Bulls, who swept the season series 4-0. The Knicks were 3-1 vs. the Celtics this season and their nemesis, point guard Rajon Rondo, is done until 2013-14. “I love our chances [against Boston],’’ Smith said. “We’re playing our best basketball. Were still handicapped without our bigs, but I like the situation we’re in right now.’’ Anthony, having scored 30-plus points in seven straight games, is threatening Amar’e Stoudemire’s franchise record of nine. But today could be Anthony’s last game until the postseason. Walsh, however reluctant he was to give up so many pieces in the 2011 deal, brought Anthony to New York when he was Knicks president.
Knicks in position to clinch second seed today
New York Post | Apr 14