The Knicks will not be in the draft lottery after making the playoffs for the first time since 2013, but they did receive two favorable drawings Tuesday involving their two first-round selections.
Teams with identical records were subject to the league’s tiebreaker process to determine draft order beyond the lottery. The Knicks will pick 19th and 21st this summer after winning both of their tiebreakers in a process conducted Tuesday by NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe.
Knicks president Leon Rose could look to package the two picks to move up in the draft, which will be held July 29.
The Knicks finished the regular season with a 41-31 record — the same as the Hawks, their first-round playoff opponent — and that drawing victory gives them the 19th-overall selection.
The Knicks also control the Mavericks’ first-round pick from the 2019 Kristaps Porzingis trade, which will be No 21 after Dallas won that tiebreaker among three 42-30 squads, also including the Lakers (22nd) and the Trail Blazers (23rd).
The first three lottery positions are held by the Rockets (17-55), Pistons (20-52) and Magic (21-51), with the Thunder (22-50) moving into the fourth slot after winning a tiebreaker with the Cavaliers (22-50). The lottery will take place June 22.
Starting center Nerlens Noel officially was listed as questionable for Game 2 against the Hawks with a sprained right ankle, but Noel’s timeshare partner in the Knicks’ big-man rotation didn’t notice anything wrong with him during Tuesday’s practice.
“He was like his normal self,” Taj Gibson said. “We had a normal practice, I didn’t see anything.”
Tom Thibodeau added Noel was “feeling better” and “did a little more” in Tuesday’s practice. The league’s second-leading shot blocker during the regular season (2.2 per game) limped off the court with 6:43 left in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s series opener. Norvel Pelle would likely back up Gibson in the event Noel is unable to play Wednesday.
Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan declined to comment on a question about New York Mayor Bill de Blasio saying in a press conference Tuesday that Atlanta guard Trae Young needs to “stop hunting fouls” and “play the right way.”
“I have no response to that,” McMillan said.
RJ Barrett on posterizing Atlanta’s Bogdan Bogdanovic with a lefthanded dunk in the third quarter of Game 1: “That was a special moment, something that I’ll always remember. It was definitely a great feeling. The crowd went crazy. So hopefully we give them some more stuff to be crazy about.”
— Additional reporting by Paul Schwartz
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