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After two disappointing losses on Saturday, hopes of a NY-area team making the NBA playoffs are looking fairly grim. The Knicks stand 5 1/2 games out of a playoff spot with just 12 left to play, while the Nets are a (somewhat) more manageable 3 1/2 games back. Current #7 and #8 East seeds Indiana and Philadelphia have played with serious heart in the last week, notching wins against the likes of the Spurs, Pistons, and Lakers, so both NY and NJ seem headed for the Secaucus lottery in June.

The Knicks were on the road in Portland Saturday evening, playing a lottery team that had lost seven in a row. And they couldn't get it done, losing 103-96 despite 30 points from Tim Thomas and 21 from Starbury. Meanwhile, the Nets faced the underachieving Timberwolves, and were blown out Saturday afternoon. This is a little more understandable - the T-Wolves have tons of talent, yet have been moping all year due to contract and chemistry issues. In the end, it looks like bar TVs in Manhattan will be exclusively tuned to early-season baseball in May.

In other hoops news: NCAA March Madness provide even more incredible thrills than usual, and the Lakers fade in the stretch without Shaq to bail them out.

Photo via AP - Rick Bowmer