Knicks, Nets, Devils, Islanders, and Rangers all in playoffs for the first time since 1994

April 17, 2023

Image via WikiCommons

New York-area sports fans rejoice: All five local hockey and basketball teams made the playoffs this year for the first time in nearly 30 years. The Knicks, Nets, Devils, Rangers, and Islanders are kicking off their postseasons, the first time all teams have been in the playoffs together since 1994 when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup and the Knicks lost to the Houston Rockets in a seven-game series in the NBA Finals.

Giant letters featuring the Rangers’ motto popped up across the city during the team’s 2022 playoff run. Image courtesy of MSG Sports

The Knicks faced the Cleveland Cavaliers last Saturday, kicking off their seven-game series with a victory, winning 101-97. The Knicks have the opportunity to win their first playoff series since 2013. The Nets, who are in the playoffs as the six-seed, faced off against the Philadelphia 76ers last Saturday for Game 1 of their series, losing 121-101.

The Knicks will continue their series against Cleveland on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and the Nets will face off once again against the 76ers on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils face off at Newark’s Prudential Center in a postseason game for the first time since 2012 on Tuesday. The Islanders are playing the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, in what is expected to be a tough series.

While obviously, not all five teams can make it to the second round of playoffs, there will still be an abundance of teams to root for.

“Fans from Long Island all the way to New Jersey have a reason to watch the playoffs,” Steve Politi, a sports columnist for The Star Ledger, told Gothamist. “It’s pretty much unprecedented.”

In 1994, the last time this rare feat occurred, the Rangers beat the Islanders in the first round before a Game 7 win against the Devils in the conference finals. In basketball, the Knicks beat the Nets in the first round of the playoffs.

Madison Square Garden hosted both the Stanley Cup Finals, where the Rangers won their first championship in 54 years, and the NBA Finals, where the Rockets defeated the Knicks.


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