ESPN.com came out with its prediction for the Knicks on Tuesday, and it's not pretty.
ESPN.com uses the SCHOENE system to project that New York will go 37-45 this year. Yup, 37-45. They project that 37 wins will be good enough to get the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. But that's a huge drop from where the Knicks were last season. After winning 54 games in the regular season, they secured the second seed in the East.
SCHOENE's projections are based on what the system thinks players can produce in the coming season. It then adjusts for several different statistical factors. SCHOENE projects that the Knicks offense will plummet from 3rd to 20th in points scored per 100 possessions. The system also predicts that the Knicks will fall from 16th to 18th in defensive efficiency. Yikes.
MY TAKE: If the projections are accurate, there's a strong chance that Carmelo Anthony will opt out of his contract and take his talents elsewhere in the 2014 offseason. There's also a strong change that James Dolan will eat Mike Woodson's contract for next year and look for a new coach.
But I don't think that the projections are accurate. I think the SCHOENE projection fails to take into account that Andrea Bargnani is coming into the season healthy. I also don't think that Amar'e Stoudemire will play enough to impact the Knicks' record as much as he did last season, as SCHOENE suggests.
I can see the Knicks winning fewer than 54 games in the regular season due to the advances made by other teams in the Eastern Conference. But I think they will remain competitive, finishing between 4th and 5th in the East. I certainly don't see the same fall that SCHOENE projects. But I may be wrong. It certainly wouldn't be the first time.
QUESTION: What do you guys think? Will the Knicks win just 37 games next year? Or is that projection inaccurate? Let us know in the comments section below.
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