expect, but we all know that none of us have any clue what will
happen, and more than anything we are all just hungry for some hoops.
I've read a lot of previews, but the one that sums up my take on the
season comes from Kevin Pelton of BasketballProspectus.com:
"In their first season adjusting to a major stylistic change on the
sidelines, the Knicks won 32 games. They lost Quentin Richardson while
adding Darko Milicic and rookies Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas, not to
mention a healthy Danilo Gallinari. So why are people expecting New
York to get worse? To me, this feels like an overreaction to a summer
that could have been ugly had the Knicks not been able to re-sign
David Lee and Nate Robinson. With them in place, there's plenty of
talent in the Garden and the right coach to mold it."
To me, the more a team is scrutinized in the offseason, the easier it
is to create negativity. I do understand the concern of many fans that
the players might not have an incentive to win if the focus of the
organization is solely on free agency period of next summer. But, I
think that mindset is outweighed by the competitiveness that Coach
D'Antoni exudes and he simply won't allow his team to fold. His system
has developed an aura of team chemistry that has been missing from
this organization for too long, and if the positive vibes can
continue, I think this team has a chance to sneak into the postseason.
If a player is out to get his to try and get a contract next season,
he will sit.
I know I will be in the minority on this, but I think there are only
four playoff locks in the Eastern Conference in Boston, Cleveland,
Orlando, and Philadelphia. I think Chicago is the next best in the
batch. I do have doubts of them making up for Ben Gordon's scoring
output, but Derrick Rose should be able to carry them into the
postseason.. I think Atlanta has digressed with the acquisition of
Jamal Crawford, and that Washington is very injury-prone, but both
should fight their way to .500. Last year, the Pistons made the
playoffs with a 39-43 record, and I think the Knicks will face a
similar fate this year. Now, you can try to label me as a kool-aid
rah-rah guy, but I predicted 32 wins last season, and I am reasonable
in understanding this team's limitations. To me, this year's opening
night roster is more balanced offensively, and better defensively than
last year's opening night roster--- bottom line. I am predicting a
38-44 season in which they sneak into the postseason as an 8 seed. As
negative as us Knicks fans have been programmed to be over the last
few years, I hope that all fans would sign for that right now.