Chris Kreider and the Rangers (left) have the attention of Josh...

Chris Kreider and the Rangers (left) have the attention of Josh Hart and the Knicks after the Blueshirts' run to the NHL Eastern Conference final. Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images; Elsa/Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS — Now, it’s their turn.

The day after the Rangers closed out their second-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes with a 5-3 win in Game 6, their Madison Square Garden co-tenants were hoping to do the same Friday night in their Game 6 in Indianapolis.

Given that their sports are played at the same time of the year and require vastly different skill sets, there isn’t always a giant crossover between basketball and hockey fans, let alone basketball and hockey players. With the Knicks and Rangers, however, it’s a little bit different because they share both the same arena and same practice facility.

While not exactly co-workers, a day at the office means players from both teams run into one another. They share the same cafeteria and they walk the same hallways.

“I'm glad that they finished it out,” Knicks guard Deuce McBride said Friday morning after his team’s shootaround. “We see those guys around the facility a bit, and you know we’re always telling each other, ‘Good luck’ and you know, ‘Just go get it done’ ”

It’s been 30 years since both the Knicks and Rangers made it to the finals of their respective conferences in 1994. The Rangers went on to win the title, while the Knicks fell one win short, losing to the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

Josh Hart, who along with Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein wore Rangers jerseys to a Knicks game against the Lakers in February, admitted he didn’t watch all of the Rangers' closeout game Thursday night because he was busy watching the Nuggets-Timberwolves playoff game.

“I saw that they were down, 3-1, after the second intermission and I was like, ‘Oh, man, New York is not going to be happy about that,’ ” Hart said. “Then, I looked to see how they did and they scored four goals in that last period. It was great for the fans and the city. To have a team get to the conference finals, hopefully they can keep pushing.”

The mantra on the Knicks, like many teams, is one game at a time. Still, Hart admits that he has thought about just how crazy it would be if the city had two teams make it to their conference finals.

The only thing crazier, of course, would've been if both teams made it to the conference finals and were playing Boston teams. The Celtics have already advanced, but the Florida Panthers spoiled that possibility by eliminating the Bruins on Friday night. 

“Have I thought about it? Yeah,” Hart said about a possible New York-Boston NBA and NHL series. “That’s something we would love to do. But at the end of the day, we just have to focus on ourselves. I mean, [Indiana] is not an easy team. It’s not a team that is going to get down, 3-2, and lay down and call it a season. So we have to handle our business." 

The second-seeded Knicks have some reasons to feel confident after pounding the Pacers, 121-91, in Game 5 at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. The Pacers, however, have been unstoppable at home in the playoffs, going 5-0 including a 121-89 win in Game 4.

“We still need one more win so we can’t get too excited about it,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We have to understand what we need to do, stay focused on the task at hand. If you feel good about yourself, you get knocked down in this league. We’ve got to be ready to go.”

The Knicks have two chances to get that win, though there’s a number of reasons they would rather not play a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. First, if they are going to advance to the next round, they need all the rest they can get. Game 1 is scheduled for Tuesday in Boston.

Second and more importantly, there is a horrible history between the Knicks and Pacers in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks haven’t played a Game 7 in any series since hosting the Pacers there in 1995. The Pacers won that game, 97-95, after Patrick Ewing missed a finger roll that would have sent the game into overtime.

Of course, the Knicks can avoid all that and join the Rangers with a win on Friday night.


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