Sam SpiegelmanThe Knicks will finish 37-45 this coming season, according to ESPN.com which utilized the SCHOENE system, a significant drop for the team that finished second in the Eastern Conference behind only the Miami Heat.
The projection represents a win decrease of almost 20 games from last year’s Knicks, which finished 54-28. The SCHOENE system encompasses what players can produce, defense and offseason transactions.
SCHOENE projects the Knicks to fall from third to 20th in points scored per 100 possessions and from 16th to 18th in defensive efficiency. The Knicks would finish as the No. 7 seed in the East, if SCHOENE was accurate.
Some of the factors taken into account include J.R. Smith’s health. With Smith out upwards of four months, plus recovery time, it’s question whether he’d be a valuable contributor upon his return.
The acquisition of Andrea Bargnani is considered a negative move. SCHOENE considers the Knicks’ newest forward injury-prone, a defensive liability and a poor decision-maker when it comes to shot selection.
The addition of Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih are also not as valuable as fans may think. World Peace is not the defensive stopper he once was, according to SCHOENE. He does, however, have the capacity to be the team’s best defender, while Udrih is touted as a consistent shot-maker from mid-range and steady option at the point.
Dropping five spots in the standings and dramatically in terms of offensive production is a bit too extreme, in my humble opinion. Carmelo Anthony is in a contract year, so he will be inclined to put together one of — if not, his best — season to date.
That, combined with the fact the Knicks didn’t get any offensive production from the power forward spot (other than when Anthony was there), Bargnani is an upgrade. He may be coming off of two poor seasons with the Toronto Raptors, but Bargnani has proven he can maintain a field-goal percentage of about 45 percent and a 3-point shooting percentage of close to 40 percent. He is finally healthy and will not have to shoulder the load like he did in Toronto.
Thirty-seven games is an insult, really. The Milwaukee Bucks won 38 games last year; Toronto and Philadelphia each won 34. I cannot fathom a team with Anthony, Bargnani, World Peace, Smith and Tyson Chandler win as many games as the eighth, ninth and 10th teams in the Eastern Conference, teams that were rarely competitive.
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