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Pondering the possible 2-7, 3-6 possibilities

In my national NBA chat today on ESPN.com's NBA page, the Knicks were a popular subject. And naturally, the question of Donnie Walsh's future was raised. (The Knicks have until April 30 to pick up Walsh's option year).

An excerpt:

Andreas (NYC)

Chris, why is Dolan giving Mr. Walsh no love? I've heard that the decision is up to Donnie, but is that really true? Thanks!

Chris Sheridan

(2:28 PM)

Dolan does not care what is written about him, and he does things on his own schedule. It is fishy to me that they have not picked up Walsh's extension by now, but when you factor in my opening statement, maybe it's a little less fishy. Dolan did say at the Carmelo Anthony introductory press conference that the matter would be dealt with at the appropriate time. I do know this: Donnie Walsh himself ABSOLUTELY wants to finish the four-year job he set upon nearly three years ago.

So that's where I stand on that subject with so many names being thrown out there my so many different writers.

Now, onto the final three days, and what it'll take to get either a Knicks-Celtics or Knicks-Heat series.

Miami (56-24) currently has a one-game lead on the Celtics (55-25), but Boston owns the tiebreaker and would be the No. 2 seed if the teams finish with the same record.

Miami's final two games are at Atlanta tonight and at Toronto on Wednesday night. Boston's final two games are at Washington tonight and at home against the Knicks on Wednesday. So assuming the Heat beat the Hawks and the Celtics defeat the Wizards, the Celtics will be playing Wednesday night's game for the possibility of a No. 2 seed (the Miami-Toronto game tips off at the same time) and homecourt advantage in the second round. That would make one believe there is no way they would tank it.

Which brings us to the Knicks and their magic number of one (any combination of New York victories and Philadelphia losses) to clinch the No. 6 seed.

The Sixers close the season with games tonight at home vs Orlando (in Dwight Howard's return from a one-game technical fouls suspension), with the Magic having little to play for, and a Wednesday night home game against Detroit.

If the Sixers lose tonight, the Knicks will be set at No. 6 and will have nothing to play for Tuesday night vs. Chicago and Wednesday vs. Boston.

But if the Sixers, Heat and Celtics all win tonight, and the Knicks lose at home Tuesday to Chicago, then things will remain completely up in the air until sometime around 10:40 p.m. EDT on the final night of the regular season. A victory by Boston over the Knicks, combined with a Philadelphia victory over the Pistons, would knock New York into seventh place and set up a 2-7 series between the Knicks and Heat (something folks in my Knicks chat last Friday seemed to want), assuming Miami defeats the Raptors.

But if the Heat lose in Toronto, the Knicks lose in Boston and the 76ers win at home, the only way for a New York-Miami series to take place would be if both teams advanced to the second round.