BOSTON — The Celtics did their job long ahead of the regular season’s finale, but that still leaves a handful of teams behind them in the Eastern Conference fighting for a favorable position ahead of the NBA Playoffs.

Among those preparing to battle until the end are the New York Knicks.

“The Celtics have built up a good cushion so they’re in a different category,” New York head coach Tom Thibodeau said before Thursday night’s Celtics-Knicks matchup at TD Garden. “But for the rest of us, we’re all fighting for seeding and home-court and that sort of thing. So that’s our challenge.”

Thibodeau added: “The important thing is to be playing the best when you go into the playoffs. Just lock in, don’t get distracted, don’t get sidetracked.”

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New York’s gone 47-32 in its first 79 games, winning six of its last 10 games played, a stretch that includes a 122-109 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Through that time, the Knicks have shot 40.4% from three — third best in the NBA — and have averaged 118.1 points — second among teams in the East, and ahead of the Celtics (116.6).

Meanwhile, everything’s been on Boston’s side. From a healthy roster to a double-digit lead over everyone else in the conference to a seized home-court advantage, the Celtics have sat cozy.

The Knicks haven’t had three-time All-Star Julius Randle since Jan. 27, going 18-15 amid the 29-year-old’s absence to keep the team’s playoff hopes sustainable. That’s a position more teams across the league can relate to. New York’s No. 3 seed is just 3.5 games ahead of the No. 8 seed Miami Heat, making the mid-to-lower end of the conference contenders a toss-up when it comes to how they’ll be positioned before the playoffs.

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“Everyone is playing for something so you’re seeing the intensity go way up right now,” Thibodeau explained. “… And then you’re trying to look at the combinations that will work well against them and matchups are everything. We want to keep an eye on that. We want everyone playing well. There’s a need obviously for everybody.”

While the Knicks haven’t been a major threat to Boston, going 0-4 against the Celtics entering Thursday’s regular season series finale, there isn’t a team to be thrown in the backburner. Last year, Boston had issues against everyone in the playoffs, including an 8-seeded Miami squad that put the Celtics to rest in the conference finals.

New York has the opportunity to replicate that Cinderella run this season, even though it’ll be far from easy to manage.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images