Written by William Lee
The Super Bowl is over, and basketball season is over half way over. This is the time where causal fans move over from football to basketball. Listening to a recent appearance from Mike Breen on The Michael Kay Show, where “Mike Breen says at this point the Knicks just need wins at this point and it doesn’t matter how they come.” And that the Knicks need to continue to improve throughout the season, I completely agree with this sentiment, and decided to take a look at New York’s schedule, and predict what could happen. Below there is a breakdown, having an optimistic, realistic, and pessimistic outlook on the remainder of the season.
The Knicks currently stand 10th in the Eastern Conference standings with a 19-29 record. Now the Eastern Conference is atrocious, and the Charlotte Bobcats stand as the 8th seed with a 21-28 record. The Brooklyn Nets currently hold a 21-25 record, now ideally the Knicks would want to avoid the 7th or 8th seed, because that would mean they would either have to face the Indiana Pacers, or the Miami Heat in the First Round of the Playoffs.
Looking back last season, 2012-2013, the 7th and 8th seed did not have more than 41 wins. Sixth seed was a 44-38 Atlanta Hawks, so to avoid a most definite First Round exit, New York will need to somehow get above .500. To get even at 41-41 the Knicks will need to go 22-12 the rest of the way…which seems a little far-fetched…Now in 2011-2012 all teams were over .500, but this was in a strike shortened season. In 2010-2011 the sixth seed was actually the Knicks with 42-40, so just looking back a few years back, getting the sixth seed is a must to be over .500.
Without further a due here is the breakdown.
|New York vs. Portland||2/5/14||8:00 PM||L/ L/ L||Highest scoring team in the league at 108 per, we will not be able to stop them|
|New York vs. Denver||2/7/14||7:30 PM||W/ W/ L||Gives up 103.3 per game to opponents, point differential of only .6, Carmelo Anthony will be all to happy to stick it to his old team|
|New York @ Oklahoma City||2/9/14||1:00 PM||L/ L/ L||Best in the West, no one on the Knicks can even remotely slow down Kevin Durant, look for him to drop 40+. New York is 1-5 in mantinee games|
|New York vs. Sacramento||2/12/14||7:30 PM||W/ W/ W||DeMarcus Cousins is out with an ankle injury, and the Kings have since cooled off since acquiring Rudy Gay, currently on a seven game losing streak, this will also be the second game of a back to back game|
|New York @ Memphis||2/18/14||8:00 PM||W/ L/ L||Marc Gasol is back…but we can hope that Mike Conley will still be out by this game, third best defensive team with opp pts at 95(this includes Gasol 24 game absence)|
|New York @ New Orleans||2/19/14||8:00 PM||W/ L/ L||Good News: Starters Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson out with injury, Bad News: Anthony Davis last six game avg 20.5 points 10.7rebound 1.7 steals and 5.5 blocks! Second game of a back to back for New York|
|New York @ Orlando||2/21/14||7:00 PM||W/ W/ W||Second worst team in the NBA, in full tank mode. Top five worst point differential at -6|
|New York @ Atlanta||2/22/14||7:30 PM||W/ L/ L||Best passing team in the league with 25.7 assist per game, Knicks defense will most likely get carved up. Second night of a back to back for New York|
|New York vs. Dallas||2/24/14||7:30 PM||W/ L/ L||Who do you think is #9 in Player Efficiency Rating this year, right behind Carmelo Anthony with 24.3 PER. Dirk Nowitzki, leading a bunch of old veterans to a top 7 offense at 104.6 points per game|
|New York @ Miami||2/27/14||8:00 PM||L/ L/ L||The Defending Champions will have four days to game plan rest for the Knicks|
|New York vs. Golden State||2/28/14||8:00 PM||L/ L/ L||Second best three point shooting team 9.4 threes per game, and New York allow the fourth most three per game at 8.5. Second night of a back to back for New York|
|New York @ Chicago||3/2/14||1:00 PM||W/ L/ L||Second best defensive team in the league, allowing only 92.8 points per game. Worst offensive team in the league, but New York will continue to be terrible in mantinee games|
|New York @ Detroit||3/3/14||7:30 PM||W/ W/ W||Second night of a back to back for New York, one of the few teams that has as many misfitting parts as the Knicks|
|New York @ Minnesota||3/5/14||8:00 PM||W/ L/ L||Third game in four nights for New York. Top three offensive team in the league at 105.9 points per game, at the same time they are the sixth worst efficient team shooting 43.7%.|
|New York vs. Utah||3/7/14||7:30 PM||W/ W/ W||Third worst offensive team in the NBA at 94.4 points per game, another team in full tank mode|
|New York @ Cleveland||3/8/14||7:30 PM||W/ W/ W||Both teams are on a second night of a back to back. Knicks need to starve off the Cavs, as they will also be fighting for one of the last few playoff spots. Rumors of Cleveland having chemistry issues helps.|
|New York vs. Philadelphia||3/10/14||7:30 PM||W/ W/ W||Highest pace team in the league, also highest turnover prone team with 15 per game.|
|New York @ Boston||3/12/14||7:30 PM||W/ W/ W||Second game of a back to back for the Celtics, most likely getting destroyed by the Pacers the previous night.|
|New York vs. Milwaukee||3/15/14||12:00 PM||W/ W/ W||New York are terrible in mantinee games, but MUST avenge 02/03/14 loss to the worst team in the league|
|New York vs. Indiana||3/19/14||8:00 PM||W/ L/ L||New York has four days to rest up and game plan for the Pacers, who are currently the best defensive team in the league, with the largest point margin in the NBA. Note: The weather will be warmer so the clubs will be more enticing, look for some vintage JR hangover games from here on out.|
|New York @ Philadelphia||3/21/14||7:00 PM||W/ W/ W||Knicks getting another free win from a tanking team.|
|New York vs. Cleveland||3/23/14||7:30 PM||W/ W/ W||Second game of a back to back for Cleveland, let’s hope they continue to hate each other.|
|New York @ L.A.Lakers||3/25/14||10:30 PM||W/ W/ L||Kobe Byrant will most likely be back, doing Kobe Byrant things (be it good, or bad), but that is fine because they should be in full tank mode too, after their 2014 first round pick Lakers do not own a pick for a while, better make the best of this one.|
|New York @ Sacramento||3/26/14||10:00 PM||W/ W/ W||Second worst defensive efficiency team in the league, DeMarcus Cousins is arguably the best center in the league being top five in PER at 26.69. Second game of a back to back for New York.|
|New York @ Phoenix||3/28/14||10:00 PM||W/ L/ L||Eric Bledsoe might be back for the surprise team in the NBA, who are also fighting for a playoff spot in the West. Third game in four nights for New York.|
|New York @ Golden State||3/30/14||9:00 PM||L/ L/ L||Most difficult opponent for the Knicks on five game West coast trip.|
|New York @ Utah||3/31/14||9:00 PM||W/ W/ L||Second game of a back to back for both teams, but Jazz are a tanking team. Should still be able to pull it out, especially if Knicks get blown out against the Warriors, and starters get some rest.|
|New York vs. Brooklyn||4/2/14||7:00 PM||W/ W/ L||Nets on the second game of a back to back. With each team winning on the others’ arena, I predict the next two, each team will defend their home court. LETS GO KNICKS! LETS GO KNICKS!|
|New York vs. Washington||4/4/14||7:30 PM||W/ W/ L||The Wizards recently got over .500 for the first time since Nov. 3, 2009.|
|New York @ Miami||4/6/14||1:00 PM||L/ L/ L||New York will continue to be terrible in mantinee games. DEAR NBA, PLEASE STOP SCHEDULING THE KNICKS FOR ANY MANTINEE GAMES.|
|New York @ Toronto||4/11/14||7:00 PM||W/ W/ W||Five day layoff to game plan for a surprising, yet still mediocre Raptors team.|
|New York vs. Chicago||4/13/14||1:00 PM||W/ L/ L||Last mantinee game for the season, same results…|
|New York @ Brooklyn||4/15/14||8:00 PM||W/ L/ L||See 4/2 “With each team winning on the others’ arena, I predict the next two, each team will defend their home court.” BROOK-LYN BROOK-LYN (is it just me, or does those chants sound like boos?)|
|New York vs. Toronto||4/16/14||8:00 PM||W/ W/ W||Last game of the season, potentially game needed to get into Playoffs. Second night of a back to back for New York.|
Looks like the SCHOENE prediction system wasn’t so crazy after all.