ATLANTA — The Knicks played Wednesday as if it were the last time the team would be competing this season. And it might be.
The Knicks pulled away in overtime for a 136-131 victory over the Hawks at State Farm Arena and now face a mountain of uncertainty, inactivity and possible self-quarantine.
Instead of flying after the game to Miami for Friday’s tilt, the Knicks returned to their Atlanta hotel to stay overnight, awaiting word.
According to sources, none of the Knicks players will be tested for coronavirus just yet. Reports, however, said the last five teams that faced the Jazz, which includes the Knicks, are expected to be self-quarantined.
While the game was still being contested, the NBA announced it will suspend the season until further notice following Wednesday’s games because a Jazz player — reportedly center Rudy Gobert — tested positive for coronavirus.
The Knicks faced Gobert at the Garden on March 4. Gobert played 34 minutes, which has to be of concern to any players who faced him that night. He also played against the Celtics, Pistons and Raptors in the following days.
Knicks veteran Wayne Ellington, the only player made available to the media in the press room, said Dr. Lisa Callahan, chief medical officer of MSG Sports, has given them assuring words.
“Obviously you think about it, but at the same time, Dr. Callahan notified us as long as you’re not feeling symptoms what comes with it, you’re fine,” Ellington said. “Otherwise, we’ll take the necessary orders. Everybody is OK.’’
An ABC TV affiliate in Utah, however, reported the five teams that recently faced the Jazz would be self-quarantined.
Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce had a similar view, saying his players were told to stay away from the practice facility Thursday and for the time being.
“Stay out of the facility tomorrow and moving forward,’’ Pierce said. “I think we’re all trying to get educated on the next step.’’
Oddly, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said teams can still practice during the season’s holdup. Knicks interim coach Mike Miller said he has yet to be told the specifics.
Knicks president Leon Rose and general manager Scott Perry informed the players about the NBA’s suspension of play, though many already had heard.
“We’re waiting to hear what’s next,’’ Ellington said.
“It’s unfortunate obviously for our fans, and us,’’ Ellington added. “The main thing is our safety. Our safety is first for us, staff and fans.’’
ESPN reported most teams on Wednesday afternoon wanted to continue playing the season minus fans — with the Knicks the only squad wanting to keep things status quo.
A Knicks spokesman did not respond for comment. But the conference call was before the first player tested positive.
Asked if he thinks the season will resume, Ellington said: “Honestly we don’t know. We’re following league protocol.”
Hawks forward John Collins said the suspension is “tough.’’ “Every NBA player puts their life into the game,’’ Collins said. “For it to be cut short, it hurts.’’
Asked if he wants to be tested, Collins said: “Yes and no. It’s the smartest thing to get tested. I want to make sure myself and family aren’t at risk.’’
Miller said he’s in the dark on when he’d have a practice — if he will.
“We’re working it out, but at some point we’ll be going back to New York,’’ Miller said
Miller said he’s confident the Knicks, who will finish 21-45 if the season doesn’t resume, have been careful through the crisis and wasn’t worried.
“We trust our medical people,’’ Miller said. “We trust our staff, we trust the NBA staff, that they’re doing the research and I think it appears to mE there’s a comfort in that. What they’re telling us is what we need to do. We’re going to follow that. I appreciate the diligence, work and completely trust the medical team and what the NBA is doing.’’