April 17, 2012 12:00 AM
" When the Knicks beat the Celtics on Christmas Day, there were plenty of people who thought the Atlantic Division title was within their reach.
When they face off on Tuesday night at the Garden, the slim chance of pulling off such a trick hangs in the balance. The Knicks are four-and-a-half games back of the Celtics with six games to play and you don't need an advanced degree in mathematics to know that a loss on Tuesday night makes winning the division impossible.
Should the Knicks win, they'll tie the season series with the Celtics at two with the tiebreakers up for grabs. The schedule over the final five games has some landmines -- at Atlanta, a home date with the Clippers -- but it isn't impossible to imagine the Knicks running the table.
None of that matters if they don't beat the Celtics on Tuesday. The division title isn't the only thing at stake, though.
Moving up out of the bottom two slots in the playoff pecking order requires pretty much the same prescription as getting past the Celtics "
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