The Knicks are going to the playoffs. No, not those Knicks. The Westchester Knicks.
While the NBA Knicks are headed for a fourth straight 50-loss season, their G League team clinched a postseason berth Saturday night with a win over the Wisconsin Herd, the Bucks’ affiliate in Oshkosh.
Four of Westchester’s opening night starting five played in the Knicks’ 132-106 loss to the Raptors on Sunday. All five currently are in the NBA.
Trey Burke, Luke Kornet and Isaiah Hicks are with the Knicks. Nigel Hayes signed a 10-day contract with the Raptors last week and scored six points in five minutes against the Knicks on Sunday. The fifth starter, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, also signed a 10-day deal with Toronto.
“The whole starting five is not even there right now,” Hicks said. “I feel like that really shows how talented our starting five was.”
Craig Robinson, who is in his first season as the Knicks’ vice president of player development and G League operations, has been largely responsible for putting the Westchester team together. The Knicks are in the developing stage of the season and are giving more playing time to their younger players.
Hicks, a two-way player, stayed in Wisconsin after Friday’s loss to the Bucks and played for Westchester. He scored 29 points to lead Westchester to the playoff-clinching win.
Burke playing through pain
Burke has been playing with tendinitis in his right wrist that Jeff Hornacek said has affected his aggressiveness recently. Burke, who started feeling pain last week, plans to play through it. He said he won’t get any exams until after the season.
Lance Thomas (sprained right thumb) did not play. The Knicks said X-rays were negative. Thomas hurt his thumb earlier in the season and aggravated it Friday against the Bucks . . . Courtney Lee returned after leaving the team Tuesday because of a death in the family. He had five points in 20 minutes off the bench Sunday. Hornacek said Lee will practice Monday and return to the starting lineup Tuesday against Dallas at the Garden . . . The Knicks will hold their first Pride Night on Tuesday.