2005_03_slilpenny.jpgThe playoffs are beginning to look out of reach for this year's Knicks squad. A hugely improved 42-19 Seattle team bested NY at the Garden 90-80 to put them seven big games back of the Atlantic Division lead with just 21 left to play. The Celtics now look to be the heavy favorites for the division crown and the East's #3 seed.

Sunday's score does not indicate the quality level of the NY/Seattle game, which was well played on both sides despite poor shooting for the Knicks. NY had 7 steals and caused 17 Seattle turnovers, thus keeping them in the game until the last few possessions. Both Tim Thomas and Stephon Marbury scored 20 points to lead the Knicks.

Next up for the Knicks: Shaq and the Miami Heat tonight. Hrm, better make that eight games back in the Atlantic. In other news, the Nets beat (up) Orlando in a scrappy Sunday contest, and Chris Webber isn't working out so well in Philly.

Photo via AP/Julie Jacobson