Knicks 'zzone

Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

Playoff push: Knicks just 3.5 games back

Knicks rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. goes to the

Knicks rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. goes to the hoop for a dunk in the second half against the Utah Jazz at Madison Square Garden on Friday, Mar. 7, 2014. (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

The Phil Jackson narrative dominated Knicks headlines since Friday.

But something else developed over the weekend. The Knicks gained ground in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot. After wins on Friday and Saturday night, the Knicks are just 3.5 games back of the No. 8 seed heading into Monday night's game against Philadelphia (15-47) at The Garden.

Here's how the current NBA playoff picture looks for those in range of the Knicks going into Monday night's games:

PLACE TEAM REC GB LEFT H/A +/- .500
7 Charlotte 29-34 17 19 10/9 11/8
8 Atlanta 26-35 19 21 13/8 10/11
9 Detroit 24-39 22 19 7/12 10/9
10 Knicks 24-40 22.5 18 8/10 10/8
11 Cleveland 24-40 22.5 18 9/9 10/8
12 Boston 22-41 24 19 8/11 11/8

Charlotte hosts Denver (27-35) on Monday night while Atlanta plays at Utah (22-41). Charlotte and Atlanta still must play each other twice.

The Knicks only have two remaining games against teams on this list -- at Boston on March 12, and home vs. Cleveland on March 23.

The Knicks end the season with seven straight games against teams with winning records right now (combined .566 winning percentage):

Brooklyn (31-30)

Washington (33-29)

at Miami (43-17)

at Toronto (35-26)

Chicago (35-28)

at Brooklyn (31-30)

Toronto (35-26)

(Key: GB = Games back of No. 1 seed; LEFT = Games left; H/A = Home games and away games; +/- .500 = Games left vs. team above and below .500)

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