And understandably so.
After sitting through a 17-win season in 2014-15, it makes sense that Knicks fans are looking for a big win increase in the coming season.
But based on recent history, 25 wins may be a fair expectation for New York.
Thirty-seven* teams have finished with 20 or fewer wins since the 1979-80 season.
Those 37 teams experienced a win increase, on average, of 10.7 games in their next season.
There were outliers in this group, of course.
In 1986-87, the Golden State Warriors won just 20 games. The next season, the club went 43-39.
The 1997-98 Boston Celtics won 36 games a season after winning just 15.
The same season, the San Antonio Spurs won 56 games after winning just 20 the season prior. That team featured a healthy David Robinson (Robinson missed all but six games the previous season due to injury) and rookie Tim Duncan.
More recently, the then-New Orleans Hornets increased their win total by 20 after an 18-win season in 2004-05 and the Miami Heat won 28 more games in 2008-09 than they did the season prior, when they were 15-67.
That Miami team may be the most pertinent example for the Knicks.
Like the 2014-15 Knicks, the Heat featured a star player whose season was cut short due to knee surgery in Dwyane Wade. Their awful season resulted in the No. 2 pick in the draft. They selected Michael Beasley, made the playoffs in ’08-’09, and lost in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.
The Knicks expect to get a healthy Carmelo Anthony back this season and will feature first-round picks Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant. They also added veterans Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo, Kyle O’Quinn, Derrick Williams and Kevin Seraphin in free agency.
On paper, this seems like a solid rotation. But how many wins the club ends up with is anyone’s guess.
Head coach Derek Fisher didn’t want to predict a win total when asked about expectations for the season in July.
"We’re not going to win just 17 games. We feel like we can say that and feel pretty confident about that," Fisher said.
Phil Jackson was asked in July if he thought the Knicks could duplicate the progress of the Milwaukee Bucks, who went 41-41 last season after going 15-67 the year prior.
“Yes we can. But how far can we jump?” he said. “I don’t know if we win 30 more games. That would be an awful massive jump for any team.”
Based on recent history, it certainly would be.
*- We didn’t count lockout seasons because fewer than 82 games were played. We also didn't count seasons prior to a lockout for this reason. We also ignored expansion teams in their first two seasons and didn’t count a team's win total in its season following consecutive years of 20 or fewer wins.