The New York Knicks have vastly improved from last season's abysmal performance. So much so that the players believe they can compete in the playoffs. Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo believes this team is ready to take the next step.

“My take is that we’re a playoff team, period. If we don’t make the playoffs this year ... we belong in the playoffs,” Afflalo said after the Knicks overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Given the shape of the Eastern Conference, and the positivity surrounding the Knicks organization, Afflalo's claims are not far fetched at all.  At 22-25 and two games behind the Indiana pacers for the eighth and final playoff spot, the Knicks could be sitting in a prime position to make a late playoff push.  They've competed very well against a number of better teams in the NBA, including the San Antonio Spurs.

Do you think the Knicks are a playoff team?