New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls Pick & Prediction APRIL 14th 2024

The New York Knicks are making a push for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs as they prepare to meet the visiting Chicago Bulls in Sunday’s regular-season finale.

With Friday’s win over the Brooklyn Nets in their previous outing, the Knicks (49-32) clinched a top-four seed in the East and home-court advantage for the opening round of the NBA playoffs.

“That’s a big deal, home-court advantage is huge,” Knicks center Mitchell Robinson said. “It will help us out a lot. When you get home court, you’re comfortable at home and stuff like that. It’ll be like another game, just gotta go out there and play hard.”

New York is tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for second in the East standings, but the Bucks have the tie-breaking edge and could secure the No. 2 seed with a win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

If the Knicks can defeat the Bulls (39-42) on Sunday, New York can seize the No. 2 seed if Milwaukee loses.

A loss to the Bulls would result in either the third or fourth seed for New York, depending on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ finale against Charlotte.

Sunday’s outcome won’t change anything for the Bulls. Chicago is locked into ninth place and will host the Atlanta Hawks in a play-in tournament game on Wednesday.

This will be the third meeting between the Knicks and Bulls in nine days.

New York leads the regular season series with Chicago, 2-1. The Knicks defeated the Bulls, 116-100, on Jan. 3, and in their most recent showdown on Tuesday, 128-117. Chicago defeated New York on April 5, 108-100.

The Knicks have won five of their last six games, including four straight. Meanwhile, the Bulls enter Sunday after back-to-back wins over Detroit and Washington.

With the No. 9 seed clinched, Chicago coach Billy Donovan had nine players listed as inactive for Friday night’s win over the Wizards, including starters DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic and Alex Caruso.

Donovan hasn’t made any decisions about resting his trio of starters Sunday.

“My feeling is they’re going to want to play,” Donovan said. “When you talk about a guy’s rhythm, there’s a sensitivity to those guys to what they need, and that’s the conversation that needs to take place.”

If they remain out for Sunday, Chicago reserves Adama Sanogo, Javonte Green and Dalen Terry will aim to build off their previous outing.

Sanogo, a rookie, thrived with extended minutes on Friday, recording a career-best 22-point, 20-rebound performance against the Wizards, while Green had 24 points and Terry chipped in 17 points, eight assists and two blocks.

Meanwhile, Jalen Brunson has been spearheading New York’s climb up the Eastern Conference standings.

The standout guard is riding a streak of six-straight 30-point games, including a 45-point outing against the Bulls in their most recent matchup on Tuesday.

Brunson has a chance to tie Hall of Famers Patrick Ewing and Richie Guerin for the franchise record for most 30-point games in a single season. He enters Sunday with 35 30-point performances.

Guerin set the record with 36 during the 1961-62 season and Ewing matched it during the 1989-90 campaign.

–Field Level Media

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