The Knicks just snuck into the final spot in the playoffs Wednesday night, but new president Phil Jackson is already talking tough.
Jackson met with reporters at practice on Thursday and told the media no one will want to meet the Knicks in the playoffs — should they qualify.
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“Well, with J.R. [Smith] playing at the level he’s playing at now, yes, [they’ll be tough to beat],” Jackson said. “Now they have more than one option out there on the floor, and I think that we’ll give teams trouble.”
The Knicks (33-43) lead the Hawks (32-42) by percentage points for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference, but still trail by one game in the loss column.
New York plays the Wizards, who currently hold the sixth spot, on Friday night. The Wizards have already locked up a playoff spot. Atlanta, meanwhile, hosts the Cavaliers on Friday.
Jackson was also already comparing his star, Carmelo Anthony, to past superstars he coached.
“Carmelo’s really stepped into another level of trying to help players,” Jackson said. “And I’ve been fortunate to have coached two of the great ones who have been able to do that in Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.”
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.