Sam SpiegelmanA 3-10 start isn’t very promising when considering a team’s playoff chances, and the odds back up that notion.
According to the Elias Stats Bureau, teams that begin the season 3-10 make the post-season just 18 percent of the time.
Overall, 325 teams have started off 3-10. Only 58 of those teams ended up in the playoffs, and just 17 of them advanced past the first round. That’s a 5 percent chance of actually winning a playoff series, which the Knicks just accomplished last season for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
The bright spot here: the Knicks play in the Atlantic Division in which all five teams own a record below .500. Potentially winning the division would allow the Knicks to grab a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference, though given the current state of the conference may mean a first-round matchup with a team with a better record.
Currently, the Knicks are 2.5 games out of first place in the Atlantic. The Toronto Raptors own a division-best mark of 6-8 and own the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference standings. If the season ended today, they’d face the Charlotte Bobcats, which own a 7-8 mark, in the first round.
So while the Knicks’ chances of making the post-season and actually winning a playoff series are dim, it’s not completely out of the question — especially given the lack of quality teams in the Eastern Conference.