December 31, 2011 Leave a comment
Because we’re always looking for new and improved ways to make ourselves look dumb and prove that we don’t know what we’re talking about, the Knicks Bricks team has decided to post some early season predictions for the Knicks’ 2011-2012 success (or lack thereof). We will be revisiting these at each quarter post of the season to see precisely how wrong we were.
Knicks’ Record: 34-32
Playoffs: 7th seed, 1st round exit
The Knicks will show occasional glimpses of a higher ceiling (conference finals material), but without a competent floor general to bring order to the offense they will be plagued by inconsistency all season, and limp into the playoffs at or just above the .500 mark. They lack the discipline and depth to sustain a solid four quarters of basketball, let alone string together more than a few victories in this compact season. As a result, they will depend too heavily on the team’s franchise stars to will them to victory rather than through seasoned execution. The only thing standing between Coach D’Antoni and a pink slip will be the hope of luring Steve Nash to town next season.
Knicks’ Record: 38-28
Playoffs: 4th seed, 2nd round exit
For the record, I had the Knicks at 44-22 and a 3 seed until i saw the outcome of the Warriors game. This team is still prone to quarter-long lapses that reflect poor execution, questionable rotations (substitutions), and star deference (isolation happy). I no longer believe in golden boy Landry Fields. This team sorely needs a three point threat (no, Steve Novak is not the answer), a point guard, and a reality check. Melo and Amar’e are talented scorers, but I don’t think the Knicks pose the match-up problems that they think they do.
I’m reserving judgment on Tyson Chandler. Initially I liked the signing. But that may be because in the last 10 years we have had the following players at center: Ronny Turiaf, Eddy Curry, Jerome James, Nazr Mohammed, Malik Rose, Channing Frye, Maurice Taylor, Michael Sweetney (still looking for shorts that fit), Clarence Weatherspoon, post knee injuries Antonio McDyess, Othella Harrington, and Michael Doleac. For christ’s sake look at some of those names! So pardon me if I got excited for Ty Chandler and his NBA All-Defensive Team presence. Of course, 2 games in and he averages 3 rebounds a game (editor’s note: many of these predictions were submitted before the Lakers game). Same old Knicks I guess.
Knicks’ Record: 40-26
Playoffs: 4th seed, 2nd round exit
My heart wants to say a 3 seed, but odds are I’m just being overly optimistic and the Bockers will see themselves landing behind either Boston’s Last Stand, D-12 and Company in Orlando or a surprise team that makes a run. They have incredible talent on the front line, all of which compliment each other really well. However, there is utterly no depth behind them, and the backcourt is a giant question mark from top to bottom. Who is able to facilitate offense beside Melo? Who exactly are the shooters? Will Chandler and Mike Woodson really spark a complete defensive makeover? I think the Bockers take a good step in the right direction this year and get a little deeper, but a 3-6 seed means a 2nd round date with the Bulls or Heat. I’m just not sure they’ll know how to play like a team by then (rather than a collection of individual talents) and be able to make a run past either squad to the conference finals.
Knicks’ Record: 39-27
Playoffs: 3rd seed, 2nd round exit
It’s a little tough sticking with a prediction of first place in the Atlantic and the third seed. I believe that D’Antoni is one of the best coaches in the NBA and there is enough talent to beat out the aging Celtics. Chandler has been a disappointment so far and the offense has looked better, but the defensive chemistry will come and shots will begin to fall.
Knicks Record: 37-29
Playoffs: 5th seed, 1st round exit
Unlike Matt, I don’t think this frontline compliments each other at all. The Knicks have two forwards who want the ball in isolation at the elbow extended. That didn’t work so well last season (14-14 in the regular season, 0-4 in the playoffs) and the offseason brought a center who clogs up the lane and brings a second defender, making it difficult for Anthony and Stoudemire to get open looks. That same center has only ever thrived with excellent point guards in the pick and roll. Unfortunately, Toney Douglas seems chronically incapable of learning how to distribute the ball and I have very little faith that Baron Davis will return to 2002-2007 levels. I know he’s an incredible player when invested, but he hasn’t cared in 4 years and I don’t think that the switch will be as easy to flip at 32 as it was at 26; Baron is going to find that out the hard way.
The worst part is that I think the Tyson Chandler signing has set the Knicks’ ceiling at 4-5 seeds and 1st or 2nd round exits for the next 4 years. In other words, we’re the North Atlanta Hawks. And there was much rejoicing.