The “How Many Wins Will The Knicks Have In 2021-22?” Prediction Thread

Ah, the truest sign that time is actually passing, we have another “How Many Wins Will the Knicks have?” prediction thread, a Knickerblogger tradition as valued as never being willing to kick anything to the curb or debating whether end of the Dallas Maverick bench player Frank Ntilikina is any good.

So let’s all make our bets as to how many games the Knicks will win in 2021-22!

As is my wont, I will guess high. The offense looks excellent and as we saw in the preseason, Thibs will do anything to win a preseason game, can you imagine what he’ll be like with 82 regular season Game 7s? Combine that with the Sixers looking to be worse with Ben “working out in his sweats with his phone in his pocket because he doesn’t want to lose millions by sitting at home” Simmons and the Celtics choosing to sort of kind of keep their powder dry for the 2022-23 season, I think there is room there for the Knicks to be at least as good as the Woodson Hawks, and let’s throw in a few more wins on top of that for Thibs not being the type of guy who blames a player for making a pass to a dumb player who then made a terrible play instead of blaming the dumb player who made the terrible play.

So that brings me to 56 wins as my prediction.

Let’s hope, like last year, that my optimistic prediction turns out to be still low.

As part of our all poll content (which we, of course, all know is the REAL reason why the Knicks had such a great year last year. All of those polls really inspired them), we have a poll for your predictions, as well.

How many wins will the Knicks have in 2021-22?

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148 thoughts to “The “How Many Wins Will The Knicks Have In 2021-22?” Prediction Thread”

  1. As Donnie said in the last thread… Happy B’Day Alan! Happy B’Day KYN! :)
    We hope your birthday is not incinerated, and for starters it’s a glorious day because we have one the most anticipated threads of the year… the wins prediction thread! Enjoy!
    Will BBA vote “Over 60” or there’s enough intervals to please him? That’s the question. LOL

  2. All preseason i was in the 45 wins prediction, but now seeing the intervals, i decided to vote 46-49… maybe the optimism of the board is getting to me! ;P

  3. 56 wins, Brian? I don’t see your vote yet! :P But just to ask, if i remember well, you’re not always this optimistic, right? I’m still fighting the natural pessimism i got after 2 decades of losing.

  4. For the first time in a long, long time we don’t project to be giving major minutes to guys who completely suck. We have a fairly deep team of capable NBA players but we still don’t have any high end talent barring improvement from some young guys or maybe Kemba somehow recovering his knees. So mid-high 40s seems like a reasonable range, with some upside because of Thibs and our young players. If we underperform I figure it will be because our PGs get hurt

  5. Happy birthday to Alan & Knew Your Knicks!!

    Heart says 50-52. Brain says 46-49. Both may be overestimates given Mitch & Noel’s health. Went with my heart.

  6. I’m all in on 50 wins. 50-32 sounds about right for this roster with this coach. I think the only way we get less than 50 wins is if COVID and/or injuries strike.

    For the life of me I can’t figure out what many in the media are seeing when they project teams like Dallas, Atlanta, and the Clippers to be better than us this season. I can kinda see why for Atlanta- because of the way they beat us in the playoffs. But this is an improved team that will have Mitch back. And with Dallas- they had more talent than us last season and finished with the same record. This season we have better depth and coaching and are no less than even in top to bottom talent with them. Oh and you can’t rely on their second best player. And the Clips ARE NOT better without Kawhi. Lue is a helluva coach and they have vets that know how to play, but top to bottom- there’s no way they’re better without Kawhi.

    I’m not saying that we’re worlds better than those teams- it’s really not much separation between us and them. But we’re better. The only teams that can match us with coaching are Miami, the Clippers, the Dubs, the Spurs, Philly, Toronto, Indy, and mayyyybe Milwaukee and Denver. And Thibs proved last season that coaching matters more than people want to believe. Now that we have more talent, we should absolutely expect an improvement

  7. Thank You Donnie(almost first wishes…a few minutes after my gf!!!), Cyber, Early Bird!
    Happy Birthday Alan!

    Couldn’t have asked for a better gift than the Start of the NBA season in a few hours!
    Maybe a Knicks game but it’s coming closely too!

    50-52 is my knicks password this season!
    And if i had to put my money among 50, 51 and 52 I’d say “52” All in!

  8. I’ll stick with 47, which would mean we maintained our winning percentage from last year despite less ISM luck, presumably less health luck, taking a step back on defense, and the rest of the East getting better.

    I legitimately think the team improved, but all of those circumstances cut against a substantially higher prorated win total.

    I’ll add the I also see the range of outcomes as pretty wide, as bad health, regression, and age-related decline could get us in the .500 range while a Kemba bounce back, development from our young guys, etc. could have us flirting with 50+.

    Regardless, I’m very excited for the first time since 2013-2014…we won’t talk about how that turned out.

  9. I voted 41-45 (44 is my guess this year), so the Knicks will almost certainly win 46+. Yeah, I’m figuring injuries will be a thing, but of course, I’ll be happy to be wrong.

  10. Happy Birthday Alan and KYK
    46 wins are my gut guess. While we are better than last year, I see improvement by most of the rest of the east as mitigating win growth. That said, I agree with Z-man’s observation from the last game, so if D Rose misses less than 8 games and averages 25 mpg, add 3 wins. RJ grows as a wing defender replacing Bullock, and ( hopefully) Massive Mitch loses a bit of his brolicness and thereby gains back some of his hops.

  11. I was in the 47-48 camp before preseason and still am. Thibs has won an odd number of games the last 5 seasons he has coached. So got to go with an even number. 48 it is.

  12. Happy birthday, old men!

    The real question isn’t how many wins (~43 I’d say, just a stab in the dark) but how many threads with >500 posts this year. I know it seems like this is a greatly improved team on offense, but I can’t help but wonder if last year’s incredible defense were some kind of fluke. Bullock was a great get at $4.2M and 1949 MP in a truncated season, and as much as I hated Payton with the ball, he was the #5 minutes player on the league’s 3rd-best defense.

    That alone is 20% of the Knicks’ minutes being replaced. And while there’s no question that Kemba and Fournier are superior offensive players to either of them, I have no idea what’s going to happen on the other side of the ball. Do they add 2 points of ORtg and subtract 2 on defense? No idea.

    A little bit of regression from Randle or Rose and we’re looking at a low playoff seed with a steep uphill climb to the Conference Finals. Let’s pray that Barrett ups his volume scoring at league-average efficiency. He and Quickley are about all the upside we have to look forward to. Everyone’s excited about Grimes, but we talkin’ about preseason? Preseason? Not a game, not a game. Preseason.

  13. It’s pretty amazing given where we were on “season win total” day last year to see Brian predicting 56 at the top of the thread. We’ve come a long way.

    I wish I felt that optimistic but ultimately I feel like a ton of things went right for the Knicks last year. Not just the opponent shooting luck, but how healthy we were in a league where it seemed like every other team was being ravaged by injuries and COVID – Totes brought up the comparison to the Mavs upthread; the Mavs were missing fully half of their rotation to COVID at one point early last season. Combining that with Thibs maniacal drive in a season that was tailormade for a team to pick up a lot of wins by being the more locked in on any given night and I feel like last year’s team overacheived significantly. I don’t think that’s breaking news really – we saw it in the playoffs when we were matched up with a team with an identical record but significantly more talent.

    All of that is why I’m predicting basically the same record, 46-36, despite actually feeling pretty optimistic about the team. I think the talent level is improved, we have a good coach, deep roster, some nice young players with an opportunity to pop, competent vets all over the court, should be pretty good on both sides of the ball. I like this team, I think they’ll give us a lot of good basketball to enjoy again, but I also don’t think you can expect nothing to go wrong again and that leaves us back in about the same place, record-wise.

  14. I wanted to say 46-49 but I decided to vote 50-52 in the end. Last year we lost some really close games because our offense stalled in the 4th/OT. I think we win a few those this year and with load management and the threat of COVID/injury from other teams we ekk out more wins. This is a good mix of good and old and the depth will keep us competitive most nights. We’ll regress on defense but Thibs will make sure we are, at the very least, a feisty team on that end

  15. Not getting on board the 50 Win Express.

    Yes, the arrow appears to be pointing up for this Knicks team but I (foolishly) thought the same going into the Mets and Giants seasons. Then reality reared its leering, Medusa head, turning everything to stone,

    I know… different teams, different sports. But this is still the NY Knicks we’re talking about. And last time I looked, the team was still owned by James Dolan – whose record of futility has not been surpassed by any other owner in any other sport. So I will forego any high hopes this time around and defer to the old, familiar refrain of Knicks gonna Knick.

    Of course, there are any number of ways the wheels can fall off for any team but in the case of the 21-22 NYK, I’ll go with one we all know too well: the PG bugaboo. Seems we’re pinning an awful lotta hope on two aging, injury prone players to pull this team out of the decades of muck at that position. That’s an awful lot of heavy lifting for four fragile, geriatric knees. Couple that with a coach who likely thinks the term “load management” has more to do with regulating ones bowel movements than player minutes and the potential for disaster is obvious.

    Of course, I hope that I’m laughably off base about all this and that this post will one day be used as the source of endless mockery at my expense. Nothing would make me happier if that turned out to be the case. But… as I type this, right here, right now… I can’t resist fully yielding to my most pessimistic impulses:

    37 wins.

  16. HBD Birthday People!!!

    Lots of great points made above but to sketch it out myself, with some duplication….

    I view defense and injuries and three point regression as potential downsides. Balancing that, we have a deep roster with a full complement of NBA players for the first time in many years, including some possibly potent additions in Kemba, Fournier, and even an improved Toppin. Knox is the only guy I see getting minutes who doesn’t deserve any. We have Thibs and ample motivation to be as good as possible in a top heavy Eastern conference with no clear #3.

    40 wouldn’t surprise me. 50 wouldn’t surprise me. I am going with 45.

  17. Thanks Bo and Cocko!
    Did myself a “gift?” and went for some 3s disgraceful shootaround (right now I’m on the court after two sets of 100 (12/100) and after changing my shooting style to Larry Birdesque (16/100)!
    Thankfully some kids came and stopped me from a tired third set!!! Thank you kiddos! I owe you!

  18. Thanks, guys. I’m Team 50. I think the roster makes a ton of sense in terms of complementary, interchangeable, largely competent parts, and there’s even some redundancy built in for potential injuries. If Rose and Kemba are both out for a long stretch, obviously that changes. But barring a run of catastrophic health, I believe we’ve improved on a team that wasn’t a fluke, and we have several young players capable of improving even more.

  19. 43 wins. defense falls toward 10-13th. offensive improves toward average-ish. a little more upside than downside bc depth offsets fairly high injury risk for the centers and point guards, and bc expectations for kemba, probably the greatest injury risk, are far from best case as-is. moderate statistical declines from randle and burks. some possibility of a little in-season win-now improvement if the defense isn’t quite living up to expectations or injuries intrude; someone like kyle anderson or thad young could maybe bump it up a bit. big happy kemba rebirth year or a thankyougod jump from RJ , Mitch or maybe IQ are the big upside shocks.

  20. i am in the 43 win camp as well…regression…reality ….with a dose of a better roster….if the injury bug doesn’t take a big bite at the center/backcourt positions…then maybe 46 or 47 is doable..

  21. I’m in the Jeff Van Gundy camp.

    I think the Knicks had some good fortune last year that won’t be repeated, the team is better, but the east will be a lot better. So the Knicks will probably finish below 4th seed and with a lower win% even though they are actually a better team this year.

    If it wasn’t for Thibs, I’d probably vote for a very disappointing year, but he’s so hell bent on every win at any cost I think they’ll be .500 or a bit better.

    The wildcard for me is RJ. If RJ takes another major step up on both sides that would change my view.

  22. 47 wins. Injuries could be a factor, but we have pretty good depth at all positions

    What’s the over/under for the average combined minutes per game for Randle and RJ? I say 78.

  23. Last year’s 41 winds translates to 46.7 in an 82 game season.

    Defense: I think a year of playing together and an identity built around defense will offset much of the downgrade to Kemba. Obi and IQ will be better than last year and Grimes and Duce will not get the same number of minutes as last year’s rookies, unless one or two of them are somehow playing great on both sides. So the overall downarrow in defense will be small.

    Offense: Kemba, Fournier, a better RJ and a better Obi. Clearly better than last year.

    Intangibles: Health, ISM, culture, Dolan craziness, yeah, who knows. Can be worse, can be better. Probably worse, because of Kemba and Rose for a full year.

    Thibs effect: the players are still young, and remember worse days, so I think they’ll continue to buy in.

    Management: solid and competent. I don’t expect chaos.

    I went with 50-52.

  24. With this being prediction day AND birthday day, I’m curious as to whether there is strong correlation between predicted wins and age. In my case, I happened to vote the exact same wins as my age. Jowles, on the other hand, is around a +7 or so. Is TNFH going to predict more than 23 wins? Will Z-Man predict 67 wins?

  25. Went with 46. Weird write-up (NYT?) this morning saying we have no depth, I think that’s one of the better parts of the team. To me we’re 12 deep (I’m still on the NBA-ready rookies train), and they’re largely swap-out plug-and-play. Mich and Noel, Fournier and Burks (and Grimes). Point makes me nervous, but even if we lose both Kemba and Rose, I think the team is constructed in such as way that IQ (and Deuce) can step in as hybrid 1’s and we may not lose that much.

    Randle’s the only one we really can’t lose for any length of time — I love Obi and am impressed with his improvement, but he’s still a steep downgrade and the team would be completely different.

  26. @YaronWeitzman
    The 76ers announce that “Ben Simmons has been suspended for one game due to conduct detrimental to the team. As a result, Simmons will miss the 76ers’ season opener at New Orleans tomorrow night”

    So it’s still going great over there…

  27. Yikes, and I hadn’t even seen this one:

    @wojespn
    Sixers coach Doc Rivers threw Ben Simmons out of practice today and the suspension came shortly thereafter, sources tell ESPN.

  28. This is why the so-called “hold in” is more effective than the hold out. Much easier to make yourself a pain in the ass when you’re present.

  29. Re Simmons – What’s the right gif here? I am thinking something like Michael Jackson eating popcorn but less morally fraught.

  30. Ben should go through every practice as hard as he can, then in games just jack up long 2s every time he gets the ball. Then he can just say “everyone wants me to shoot jumpers so I’m shooting jumpers. I spent all offseason practicing these”. That’ll have the double effect of tanking the team and specifically pissing off Moreyball Daryl.

    Then they’ll bench him, in which case he’ll get paid.

  31. @wojespn
    Simmons was tossed early in practice, essentially for a refusal to participate in the next stage of the session, sources tell ESPN.

  32. No, I’m not sure. That’s why it’s a prediction. If I was sure, I would not be here, I would be at the casino.

    I have a lot of faith in this team. Obvs if Kemba and Rose are both hurt for long stretches, we’re in trouble, but that is really the only big potential bump in the road. The young players will get better because good young players get better at basketball. Randle will have more energy down the stretch. The team was kicking the league’s ass once Rose came and that was with Elf starting. Fournier is an upgrade. The bench is deep. The team vibes are good and Mitch seems more focused than ever. I think they’re hungry to prove last year wasn’t a fluke too.

    I also do not buy this narrative that the East is so much better.

  33. @KyleNeubeck
    Embiid: “I’d be willing to babysit if someone wants to listen, but that’s not my my job”

  34. These are all pretty reasonable projections.

    My inner Pangloss says that the defense falls off but not too much, everybody continues to buy into Thibs’ plan and the defensive scheming makes up for the fact that we have some below average individual defenders in the rotation. So we fall off, but to like 8th or something in defensive rating. If everybody is relatively healthy (a big if) we get 48 minutes of the Mitch/Noel hydra for the season, and should have enough competent defenders to fill in the gaps. The Panglossian take on the offense is that the increased playmaking and shooting on the starting unit gets us into the top 10 in offensive rating, so we’re above average on both sides of the ball and end up with 50 wins.

    My inner Cassandra says the defense falls off quite a bit, that point of attack defense is a serious exploitable flaw and we sink down to something like league average on defense. Noel and Mitch don’t stay as healthy as we’d like, and the Invisible Sixth Man doesn’t just regress to the mean, he crosses over it and we actually have bad 3-point prevention luck. Inner Cassandra thinks the offense improves, but not enough to really substantially move the needle, so we’re average on both sides of the ball, and we end up at 41 wins.

    I actually think the Panglossian version is slightly more likely, so I’m gonna split the difference between 41 and 50, and give a bonus win. Final number: 46 wins.

  35. cybersoze: Will BBA vote “Over 60” or there’s enough intervals to please him? That’s the question. LOL

    I meant swift! :P BBA has another task – naming the Ls. We won’t need it, this year. ;D

  36. I’m going with 46 wins. This team is deep and definitely much better offensively, but everything went right last year, health wise, defensively, and we surprised a lot of teams. All of that is not likely to repeat.

    Kemba’s knee, Mitch’s foot (& weight gain), and the random injury that was avoided last year but is bound to hit over 82 games are all a concern as is the potential downgrade on defense.

    I’m not too worried about Randle slipping much, dude works hard and seems locked in to getting better. Also looking at RJ to continue his improvement (which would be huge), and of course there is the Thibs factor.

    I am predicting the 6 seed as the East will be more competitive.

  37. I mean what did they think was going to happen?
    That he’d come back and say “my bad” and everything would be fine?
    It was always going to be worse if he actually was there in person.
    Still think he should shoot long 2s every time he gets the ball. He can even try to make them so he’s not technically throwing the game.

  38. Count de Pennies:
    Not getting on board the 50 Win Express.

    I know… different teams, different sports. But this is still the NY Knicks we’re talking about. And last time I looked, the team was still owned by James Dolan – whose record of futility has not been surpassed by any other owner in any other sport. So I willforego any high hopes this time around and defer to the old, familiar refrain of Knicks gonna Knick.

    Of course, there are any number of ways the wheels can
    Of course, I hope that I’m laughably off base about all this and that this post will one day be used as the source of endless mockery at my expense. Nothing would make me happier if that turned out to be the case. But… as I type this, right here, right now… I can’t resist fully yielding to my most pessimistic impulses:

    37 wins.

    The Knick-PTSD is strong with you, eh? Lol

    Well, at least you’re acknowledging that you’re putting yourself out there. But as to some of your logic – well let me bring up a painful memory as a Yankee fan: 2004.

    The Red Sox were still staring down their historic curse as they began to climb back from being down 3-0, but as one writer put it at the time, the Red Sox didn’t have to beat the Yankee lore and past teams, just the current one. We all know the rest. :(

    The Knicks don’t have to defeat the past 20 years of Dolan baffoonery. They just need to focus on this upcoming season and that alone. Oh, and short of selling the team, Dolan is doing the one thing he needs to allow this franchise to flourish – employ competent leadership and stay the fuck out of the way.

    Let the evidence guide you away from the fear, my friend. :)

  39. swiftandabundant: I also do not buy this narrative that the East is so much better.

    Me neither. Even if we agree that ATL is on a tier above us, like the narrative, PHI was probably slated to be 3rd and with the Ben Simmons saga they might be on our tier. MIA will be better than last year, that’s for sure. But BOS replaced Kemba and Fornier with Schroder and Josh Richardson, which i find difficult to label as an upgrade. CHA, IND changed very little. If we’re in trouble because of defense, what should we say about CHI? LOL What’s left? WAS? TOR? They’ll be lucky if they can make the play-in.

  40. It seems that Dolan has shifted his focus to the Rangers and perhaps Leon’s greatest accomplishment is keeping Dolan from interfering too much.
    @Frank: I think you should DM Rich Paul. Your strategy seems much better than the Hardenesque one that is currently being deployed. If they suspend Simmons, do they have to pay him?

  41. @FredKatz
    Julius Randle on what he expects from the MSG fans in tomorrow’s opener:

    “Chaos.”

    Love it.

    Unrelated to hoops, but am I right in remembering that in one of our many offseason discourses on drumming, someone sang the praises of Clem Burke’s work on Blondie’s “Dreaming”? That’s been my go-to song of late when I need to pick up the pace on my daily walks, and the drumming on that track is remarkable to my untrained ears.

  42. DRed:
    What a delight this Ben Simmons saga is

    I am so here for it. And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer coach.

  43. 51 wins this year. I think Kemba and Rose will hold up fine splitting minutes at point. Once Mitch gets in shape we’ll be looking good in the middle. There’s a lot of positives with the team.

  44. Happy Birthday Alan and KYK!

    I voted 46-49, I’ll go for 47 wins.

    Lot of interesting news, the Ben Simmons’ Comedy Show, interesting extensions (and not), can’t wait for the first tip-off…

  45. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I hope so. But it’s not a guarantee.

    Re Obi and IQ being better than last year, I mean on defense. It’s not guaranteed but maybe probable? It’s the natural progression for rookies, I think.

  46. 56 wins, Brian? I don’t see your vote yet! :P But just to ask, if i remember well, you’re not always this optimistic, right?

    I scheduled the post, so I wasn’t online when it went up. My vote is in now!

    I don’t think consistently picking high, win-wise, is always an optimistic position. This time around, it probably was, though.

  47. 48 Wins.

    What has always infuriated me about the Knicks since the Riley days, is that they were prone to playing down to the competition and losing games they should not. Last year’s team rarely laid a stinker – Minnesota comes to mind. Half the league is bad, so lets chalk up 41 wins they can and should get. 41 games against better teams, lets get 10 of those because they grind. lets give the bad teams 3 stinkers. 48 seems doable, and I am optimistic that is low because they will compete with good teams.

    The team is slightly better depth-wise than last years team, but worried Kemba’s man will have free path to basket on every possession.

  48. ESPN Sources: The 76ers have fined Ben Simmons $1.4M for his absence from four preseason games (360K each) and levied numerous team fines for missed practices, on-court workouts and meetings. He hasn’t earned any money since returning to the team on October 11.

    I hope this lasts a long time….

  49. 42 wins.

    I think we are better than last season but I think last season was an illusion. We were not as good as our record and got a lot of Covid luck. This year I think we are a legitimate playoff team and will be better. But better will not equal more wins since I don’t think we will be as lucky.

  50. I’m going with 49. Last year the Knicks were two different teams- a .500 team before Rose and a team that played at a mid-50 win pace after he arrived. I’m guessing injuries and a bit of regression keep the Knicks from matching their second half pace of last year but they still look solid to me. I’m guessing 4th/5th seed again (though I think 6 or 7th is far more likely than a 3 seed or higher) with a much better chance to make the second round if one of Rose and Kemba can still be playing solid ball at that point in the season.

  51. As much as last year seemed like a fluke, we’re bringing back our 2nd unit which absolutely demolished teams last year. The 1st unit just needs to play even with opponents and we’ll rack up a lot of wins when Rose, IQ, Burks & Obi take the floor.

    Kemba looked really terrible against Neto, but he wasn’t as flagrantly bad against the other teams (to my recollection). Let’s at least see how the defense looks with Mitch & Noel back.

    And it’s Mitch & Noel I’m most worried about. If Kemba & Rose get injured it’s not like we’ll be worse than last year’s lineup. If we lose ground on defense because Mitch & Noel are out, that’s where we lose.

  52. Not in my wildest dreams did I think “if Derrick Rose can stay healthy” would be one of the keys to the Knicks 2021-2022 season.

  53. Thank You Owen and Max!
    Imo the only injury that’s gonna cost badly to this team is Thibs’s.
    If Thibs is healthy we’re going 50 plus!
    And if even Knoxy start playing decently we re Kicking Asses hard!!!

  54. Yeah Kemba only looked horrific defensively in the last game compared to just regular bad the other Preseason games

  55. https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/NYK/2021_games.html

    I took a look at the schedule from last year and there were definitely some games we should’ve won/let slip away. Did we get lucky in the injury/COVID area? Somewhat, though one could argue losing Mitch, Burks, and Rose for stretches didn’t help. But to say that EVERYTHING broke our way last season isn’t fair. There’s at least 10 or so games I can remember that could’ve swung our way. And yes, there’s a chance it could swing the other way this year but still…I think we pick up a few more games than we didn’t having more options and D-Rose a full season

  56. I don’t think DRose has a high injury risk, i think he has average risk like most players in the league. He was a super high injury risk with his old style of play, but since injuries almost finished his career he has changed the way he plays to a style that doesn’t carry the same injury risk as before.

  57. So last year I made season projections projections for every team, and as usual, they weren’t great: I had the Knicks with 23 wins, Phoenix Suns in the play-in, New Orleans in the playoffs, etc. So I will try again, since I like to look what I was thinking at the moment. I have decided to go overly optimistic on the Knicks, I think we have valuable players at every position and in the bench, and that is rare, so I will go with 54 wins. The rest of the teams go as follows:

    EAST

    Brooklyn Nets 61-21
    Milwaukee Bucks 56-26
    New York Knicks 54-28
    Atlanta Hawks 53-29
    Chicago Bulls 49-33
    Indiana Pacers 44-38
    Boston Celtics 44-38
    Miami Heat 43-39
    ——————-
    Charlotte Hornets 40-42
    Philadelphia 76ers 37-45
    ——————-
    Washington Wizards 37-45
    Toronto Raptors 31-51
    Cleveland Cavaliers 30-52
    Detroit Pistons 20-62
    Orlando Magic 17-65

    WEST

    Utah Jazz 55-27
    Dallas Mavericks 52-30
    Phoenix Suns 50-32
    Golden State Warriors 50-32
    Denver Nuggets 49-33
    Portland Trailblazers 46-36
    Los Angeles Lakers 46-36
    New Orleans Pelicans 45-37
    ——————-
    Los Angeles Clippers 43-39
    Memphis Grizzlies 41-41
    ——————-
    San Antonio Spurs 33-49
    Minesota Timberwolves 31-51
    Sacramento Kings 29-53
    Oklahoma City Thunder 25-57
    Houston Rockets 19-63

    I have guessed that Kyrie will eventually cave in and play (around Christmas) and that Ben Simmons won’t play for the 76ers anymore (but I have not guessed where he lands). Looking a bit at what was predicted elsewhere, I have the Lakers very low. But I don’t see how, even with a healthy Lebron and Davis, they are going to carry that bunch of old chuckers to the first seed in the west, I believe they are going to be ugly to watch. I am also a bit down on Miami, I think Lowry will do little for them, and down on the Clippers, too, who will suffer without Kawhi. I am high on NY, on Chicago, Dallas and New Orleans. Let’s see what happens.

  58. Rose misses games still. He might not miss a full season anymore but he missed 22/72 games last year, 16/66 games the year before, and 30 games 3yrs ago.

    That’s a good size chunk of each season.

  59. Yeah I don’t see how losing your starting center for half a season who is also your best defensive player qualifies as everything breaking the right way for us.

  60. 43 is the right Vegas line to me. I wouldn’t throw a dime on either the over or the under (as opposed to if I really truly thought they were going to win 56).

    I’m still at 45 with a better than comfortable chance of it going south kinda badly. Regression from Randle, sore knees for Kemba and Rose are very real possibilities and probably something closer to likelihoods. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will go south badly, but it does take things way out of Thibs’s comfort zone and at that point, who the hell knows what will happen. Could be FO/coach dissension at that point, and while it didn’t get much run on KB that I saw, it was hard to miss Berman channeling Perry openly washing his hands of the Fornier decision in the Post. (Perry “wanted DeRozan” according to Perry’s mouthpiece Berman.)

    Thibs could also wind up just melting down and/or panicking at the kinda lame defense Kemba and Fournier might bring.

    Walking a bit of a tightrope in multiple dimensions. Things hold together, it’s 45-47. But I totally get the 43 line or even the 41.5 line. A LOT can go wrong here.

  61. The only way that the (relatively healthy) Sixers win 37 games is if they trade Simmons for John Wall and he plays 3000 minutes. Embiid and Thybulle alone can carry you to a top-5 defense. Simmons is an excellent player but it’s not like they lost prime James Harden or Steph Curry or something. You’ve got them losing 18 wins year over year.

  62. Kemba and Rose should be load managed and readied for the playoffs. There’s zero chance they will be. If the Knicks get in, they’re going to underperform their slot, just like they did last year. That would tend to make the odds of them overperforming their regular season projection through Thibs wins more likely.

  63. The Honorable Cock Jowles: The only way that the (relatively healthy) Sixers win 37 games is if they trade Simmons for John Wall and he plays 3000 minutes. Embiid and Thybulle alone can carry you to a top-5 defense. Simmons is an excellent player but it’s not like they lost prime James Harden or Steph Curry or something. You’ve got them losing 18 wins year over year.

    I don’t know, perhaps I have gone wild, but I think Simmons is very underappreciated, and that without him, his teammates’ offensive and defensive abilities will suffer. Besides, I just dont see 34 year-old Danny Green or Curry stepping up for Simmons’ void.

    Obviously, if they trade him for someone valuable, it is a different story, but they aren’t getting James Harden. They need a playmaker, and I dont expect any team to give a playmaking guard for Simmons soon.

    EDIT: And if they have a losing stretch and Simmons isn’t playing, it is going to get really weird.

  64. Early Bird:
    Rose misses games still. He might not miss a full season anymore but he missed 22/72 games last year, 16/66 games the year before, and 30 games 3yrs ago.

    That’s a good size chunk of each season.

    dude…how many of those 22 last year…were covid related…need to asterik that..

    I am with cyber…I think the “Rose is beaten down and weary and injury waiting to happen” is overblown…he is 33…same age as stephen curry…if he is in good shape…I don’t see him as any more of an injury risk than others in the age range…now Kemba…that’s a different story..I could see that going south real fast…but with one good leg…his offense is 1000x better than elf “bricklayer” payton..

  65. In the Hawks series, Rose played 38, 38, 38, and 32 minutes in the first four games. By the second quarter of the fifth game, he had broken down. He can’t play starters’ minutes anymore.

    It’s highly, highly likely that Kemba Walker can’t either over a full season. Over 15-20 games, maybe. Over 82? Extremely unlikely.

  66. Idk about Rose’s health this season but He’s definitely still a high class baller!
    In preseason i watched a few highlights that reminded me why this guy was the MVP when young and healthy.
    I loke Rose A LOT and really hope he has a hell of a season Again!

  67. E, all merc’d out:
    In the Hawks series, Rose played 38, 38, 38, and 32 minutes in the first four games.By the second quarter of the fifth game, he had broken down.He can’t play starters’ minutes anymore.

    I remember taking issue with this stance when you raised it last year…I believe either someone hit his knee or he stepped on someone’s foot in game 4…I would hardly charaterize that as “breaking down”…can you point me to somewhere where the team doctor or rose proclaimed “that he broke down”…I actually remember him saying that he was good to go with those minutes….so that take is lame…btw..he was only doing that many minutes because our other pg was huddled under the covers and afraid to take the court and thibs had no other good options…this yr…I think fournier can handle the pg if walker blows up…and i think rose can handle 25-28 per game….and that should be what thibs will ask of him..with a combo of walker/iq/fournier doing the other 20-25…

  68. He missed 10 games from Covid last year, he missed another 10 presumably for injury.

    He missed significant chunks of time the years before. He only played in 25 games in the 2017-18 season.

    I can’t account for the reason he missed every game, but missing even 10 games last year isn’t nothing.

  69. Early Bird:
    He missed 10 games from Covid last year, he missed another 10 presumably for injury.

    He missed significant chunks of time the years before. He only played in 25 games in the 2017-18 season.

    I can’t account for the reason he missed every game, but missing even 10 games last year isn’t nothing.

    he was on I believe the pistons and twolves…many of those were probably mental health daze…anyway…we’ll see…if thibs can control himself and keep him in the 25-30 minute range…I think he’ll be ok…

  70. Taking issue is cool; my evidence is really being in a pretty good seat for Game 5 and watching it unfold live and in person. The really cool running threads in the playoff games will show the commentary and present sense impressions as they unfolded. It didn’t look anything like a lingering injury. He was fine at the start of the game and then just gave out. This isn’t the kind of thing that lends itself to pure Cartesian certainty or elegant proofs.

    I wouldn’t expect any of the protagonists to literally say, “He broke down” so I don’t read anything into the absence of that.

  71. Early Bird:
    Rose misses games still. He might not miss a full season anymore but he missed 22/72 games last year, 16/66 games the year before, and 30 games 3yrs ago.

    That’s a good size chunk of each season.

    I think I posted last week that the Knicks were on something like a 50 win pace after the Rose trade even though he missed all those games. Now subtract Elfrid Payton. Then add Kemba and Mitch.

    I guessed 46-49 wins in the poll although I’d be unsurprised if it were 50+. There was a little bit of likely unsustainable shooting in March/April last year, so that’s why 46-49.

    (Actually – I looked back at the monthly splits and we actually shot worse in March/April than I thought
    March 36.9%
    April 34.5%
    May 32.7%

  72. Watching Rose last year, I kind of found myself rubbing my eyes to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. He just hit so many shots that I didn’t expect to go in. Is Rose a 41% 3p% guy this year?

    But he made a huge difference last year, no question.

  73. Last year’s second half (72 game season) record was 23-14. Factored out over an 82 game season, that comes out to 50 wins. Is this team better now than that team? Lets use that as a start….

    What is the effect of exchanging Bullock and Peyton for Fournier and Kemba? If you look at win share, not so big as you might think. Kemba 3.3, Fournier 2.8 (total 6.1) vs Payton 1.0, Bullock 4.6 (total 5.7), so not even a half game. The loss of Bullock will be felt.

    I’m going to land right on 50 games this year. While some might say other teams in the east improved and that will keep this team down, I would counter that the Knicks have another year to develop chemistry, it’s a well balanced, deep team. The Knicks have a coach that is obsessed about winning every game – even ones that don’t count.

    I do not account for any player improvement but I hope to see leaps in RJ and Obi.
    I do not account for any player regression and worry a bit about IQ
    I do not account for the impact of the rookies but I think Deuce, Grimes and Sims will all be superior 3rd string options.

    I’m hoping that I’m wrong on the low side, but my number is 50.

  74. As was stated, all the luck for the Knicks wasn’t of the good variety. What stayed consistent was having a coach who knew how to get the most wins out of the team he had to work with on any given night. We lost hardly any games where we were clear favorites on paper, and we won many games where we were clear underdogs. Rose probably did burn out a bit by game 5, but Atlanta was going to win that series 4-1 no matter what we did, so the Monday morning quarterbacking is meaningless to me. Only people with anti-Thibs agendas think that another coach would have made that series more competitive.

    We will probably go 48-34 because Thibs will figure out a way to win games even when Rose and Kemba are resting/injured. Julius and RJ seem indestructable and I highly doubt that they will regress in any meaningful way…if anything, they might improve. Obi and IQ are ready for bigger roles. Taj is the best 3rd string C in the NBA. Grimes and Deuce are nice spare parts. And some DRose-type mid-season tweak is likely, especially if a glaring need develops.

    We won’t likely win 50+ games because the league is one competiive mfer. Maybe 10-12 gimmee wins and the rest will have to be hard earned. I like the cohesiveness and mental toughness of our team, the savvy and grit of our coach, and the surprising competence of our front office. But 50+ wins with our roster is still a tall order. So I’ll be conservative and go with 48, but would be comfortable betting the over if I had to choose.

  75. If we didn’t have Noel and Taj behind him, losing Mitch would have been a major problem, but that was the one position we could afford to lose our starter and barely miss a beat.

  76. Happy birthday all.

    Just checking in after plowing through the WashPost top 100 players. They had RJ at 70, Kemba at 62, and Julius at 29 (right behind Kyrie, Zion, Ja, and Jaylen). I’ll leave it to others to fight about it, but just wanted to share this nice line from the piece (each player gets a little descriptor):

    ‘Here’s some free love advice: Find a partner who believes in you as much as Dillon Brooks believes in Dillon Brooks.’

  77. swiftandabundant:
    Yeah I don’t see how losing your starting center for half a season who is also your best defensive player qualifies as everything breaking the right way for us.

    It’s true, not literally everything went right for the Knicks last year – if we had just missed zero shots all season I feel confident we go 72-0 and waltz to the title. But one injury to a role player at your deepest position isn’t exactly hard luck; every team is going to have injury issues to some extent and that’s about the most minor you could ever ask for. It’s all relative, and in a year where so many teams had massive disruptions to COVID or injuries because of the abbreviated season we had a very smooth ride of it.

  78. I’m not sure what to make of this Simmons issue,

    On the one hand I understand the media/fans coming down hard on him after that playoff debacle. He was literally afraid to get fouled. It’s one thing to have a rough series. It’s another to choke that badly. On the flip side, he’s still your player and even the coach came down pretty hard in some of his comments. That was rough. So I understand him wanting out so badly. I’d be saying F U to everyone also.

    I’m not sure how he should have handled it. but with Morey in charge it probably wasn’t a great idea to play hardball. Some managements are more geared towards keeping players and agents happy and trying to accommodate them if they want a trade. Morey is more of a spreadsheet kind of guy and is not going to take even mildly the worst of a trade just because a player is being pain in the butt when he has you locked up. At some point though, Morey is going to realize that 75% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

  79. This question regarding the baseball playoffs is for Jowles especially:

    So, do I root for the team of cheaters or the team that cheated in a different way and then hired the mastermind of the first team’s cheating? Or, do I root for the team with fans who are actively racist or the team that signed Bauer despite knowing about his past actions?

  80. Put me down for fity wins. Kemba, E4, plus a full year of Rose and Mitch makes us a much better team. Morey screwed the Simmons situation up by holding on too long. They should have unloaded him right away. Also, who does Hubert like to make the finals this year?

  81. I wouldn’t be surprised if Doc Rivers set up the practice in a way that made it difficult for Simmons. He might have an attitude like “the teams already doing this, if you’re not ready for it, just lump it”. I mean it’s not just Simmons is unhappy with how he was treated, the rest of the team and Rivers too are probably not happy with him either. I can imagine this showed in practice.

  82. Knick fan not in NJ:
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Doc Rivers set up the practice in a way that made it difficult for Simmons.He might have an attitude like “the teams already doing this, if you’re not ready for it, just lump it”.I mean it’s not just Simmons is unhappy with how he was treated, the rest of the team and Rivers too are probably not happy with him either.I can imagine this showed in practice.

    i was watching the jump on espn and kendrick perkins actually said what you allude to on the air today..he said…”doc set him up today”…put him in a position where it would be obvious he wasn’t there to compete and easy to rationalize tossing him out…

  83. Another thing on the mitigating side of the ledger last year is having a new coach and management team install a new offensive and defensive system on a team with two rookies with zero summer league, a 20yo second year player and a third year C as part of the rotation, then having net negative players like Austin Rivers and Elfrid Payton eating up key positional minutes, then having to incorporate Burks, Bullock and Nerlens as new rotation pieces. Needing to develop chemistry and continuity may have cost the team a few wins early on. We started out 9-13, with a 4-10 stretch and losses to the Thunder, Cavs, Hornets, Kings and Bulls. This year, none of that applies, except maybe the need to fully incorporate Kemba and Fournier.

  84. Voted for 46-49, can see and hope they win 50. One thing I don’t see is a worst case scenario under .500 missing playoffs season, Thibs and the depth won’t allow that.

  85. If Morey wants to keep Simmons or even just maximize his trade value, he should replace Doc. But I don’t see it happening.

  86. Almost every team in the east either improved, had an injury/covid riddled year last year that depressed their record, is young and has a few good young players that should move forward, or is as good as last year. We’ll finish ahead of plenty of teams, but any improvement we’ve made will be necessary to just run in place. The only teams I feel confident aren’t as good are the 76ers (until they resolve the Simmons situation) and Orlando.

  87. I’m going to go with 48 wins. I think that’s the ceiling of reasonable optimism. No offense to anyone in the 50 win club, but I think to get there you need things that are unlikely. Something like Kemba being fully rejuvenated or Barrett making a huge leap.

    48 is a reasonable overachievement, and I think these guys will overachieve again.

  88. Only 8% of voters think we will be under the Vegas line. Everyone else thinks we will be over or way over

  89. Ben should go through every practice as hard as he can, then in games just jack up long 2s every time he gets the ball. Then he can just say “everyone wants me to shoot jumpers so I’m shooting jumpers. I spent all offseason practicing these”. That’ll have the double effect of tanking the team and specifically pissing off Moreyball Daryl.

    Frank I literally laughed out loud when I got to the “take long 2’s part.” That’s got to be the best way to get Morey to trade you.

  90. I’m on 45-46 wins. The biggest area of downside for me is Randle (and to some extent RJ) shooting and health. Though that is offset by better talent and depth, and what looks like a more modern offense and more 3-pt shooting.

    Unrelated random comment: the league should change the way FG% is computed for buzzer beating shots from behind the half court line. They should only count for FG% if the shot goes in. It’s infuriating to see players not try the long shot when there is literally no downside.

  91. Oh, did I agree with Z-man? Fine. I’ll move it up to 49 wins.

    And GHenman, I have no idea! Keep in mind I didn’t necessarily think the Suns were going to be in the finals last year. I just thought odds were stupid so I took them.

  92. Nice first half in Milwaukee,
    Patty Mills kept the Nets in the game until KD woke up, the Bucks (without Portis and Di Vincenzo) are impressive but their bench players (plus fake starter Grayson Allen) missed too many open shots and George Hill looked 80 years old.

  93. That “second unit” with Harden, Mills and Harris is really hard to guard. Alridge didn’t look good though.

  94. Nets are shooting 55% from 3 and losing by 23 points. Welcome to the 2021 NBA.

  95. The great thing about the Lakers is not only is there not a player on that team I like, there are a significant number that I actively don’t like. Makes it really easy to choose sides.

  96. Raven:
    The great thing about the Lakers is not only is there not a player on that team I like, there are a significant number that I actively don’t like. Makes it really easy to choose sides.

    I like Melo.

  97. I have a good friend who is a Warriors fan who has spent the last two months sending me Wiggins for Simmons trade texts so fuck the Warriors

  98. JK47:
    LeBron, The Brow, And A Bunch Of Guys Who Stink

    Melo: HOF
    Westbrook: HOF
    Howard: HOF
    Rondo: 4x all-star
    Jordan: all-star, 3X all-league

    But yeah, they old…like those 2010-11 Mavs

  99. I am a little bemused that I’m agreeing with Hubert and Z-Man, but yeah, 48 wins has felt about right for a few weeks now.

    1) Thibs gonna Thib. No games off, full effort. I can’t see us being worse than top 10 defensively, and given the new players (just basic functional point guard play), I can imagine top 15 offensively.

    2) Randle won’t regress. Dude wants it bad, works out like a fiend, has expanded his game each year. I do expect worse 3-point shooting – he was soooooo much better last year it seems unlikely to be that good again – but many more bunnies, given real point guards who can get him the ball near the hoop. His interior play should rebound, offsetting the worse 3-point shooting, and he’ll have fewer turnovers, so net improvement from him.

    3) Again, just having functional point guards. If Kemba and DRose stay healthy, I could see 54 wins…but they won’t stay healthy. Still, we’ll get enough out of them to be approximately 5368 times better than Payton.

    4) Deep. And better than that, deep in a way where the skills of the second team mirror the first team, making players a bit more interchangeable. That gives Thibs a lot of flexibility night to night with lineups, and clearly he runs with the best group to finish games, whoever that may be….including rookies.

    5) Speaking of rookies, I think they are both for real, and could see IQ being displaced in terms of playing time. I think IQ is a great 6th man, but not a PG, and I could see Deuce pushing him at the point and Grimes pushing him at the 2. I’m really excited by our picks – all 4 look like NBA players, which is amazing given how low they were picked.

    I think we’ll largely get what we got last year from everyone else – Noel, Burks, RJ (alas, I don’t expect much improvement from him this year, besides better defense). Skynet is a variable, but one that could break either way. So, 48 wins, and I’d put money on the over (even if it’s 43) for sure.

  100. I should add that they’ll probably get bounced in the first round again, but I don’t care – I love this team. Very rootable players who kind of feel homegrown even if, like Randle, they started elsewhere. I am excited about watching games – more excited to watch pre-season than to watch Yankees playoff game(s), which is as much about how little I love the current Yankees, but still. I think I’m legitimately more pumped about this team and the next few years than any Knick team since the 90s.

  101. The Warriors are going to be fun again, especially when they get healthy. The player and ball movement is excellent. Basketball is beautiful when it’s played correctly.

  102. Playing with the trade machine, I see that it’s not so hard to trade Simmons for Westbrook. Philadelphia just has to throw in a modestly priced player like Thybulle. Does anyone think Philly would actually consider something like this? The Lakers should jump at it if they can get it.

  103. JK47: LeBron, The Brow, And A Bunch Of Guys Who Stink

    LOL, that sounds like a movie title (very appropriate being they’re close to Hollywood) from Sergio Leone or Tarantino. ;D
    And what about a music band? Bron, Brow and The Stinkers?

  104. Z-man: Westbrook: HOF

    He’ll be in the HoF for sure, but for his individual accolades, not at all for playing winning basketball.

  105. cybersoze: He’ll be in the HoF for sure, but for his individual accolades, not at all for playing winning basketball.

    Westbrook will be an extreme case of the commonly held belief that LeBron makes guys better.

  106. rama is a bit hype for this season: I love this team. Very rootable players who kind of feel homegrown even if, like Randle, they started elsewhere.

    I feel the same, and i guess it’s logical to feel this way. For instance, Dallas might feel KP is homegrown, because they believed in him (even if at the tail end of his rookie contract) and are riding the wave with him. I just don’t see the growth part in that case. LOL
    But even some of our veterans – Kemba and Taj – they’re new yorkers so they fit the home product part of it. It’s really an amazing group that Leon has assembled. Thibs was here in the 90s, it all makes sense.

  107. Z-man: Westbrook will be an extreme case of the commonly held belief that LeBron makes guys better.

    Yeah, this will be Lebron’s last challenge. But if he can win with Russ, then i think he’ll get to GOAT status without a doubt. MJ didn’t change teams, MJ didn’t change teammates, nothing, it was all steady (and kind of diva like, to go play baseball for a year). Lebron has done a lot of things that could have gone south and it didn’t… maybe because he’s really the greatest, no?

  108. cybersoze: Yeah, this will be Lebron’s last challenge. But if he can win with Russ, then i think he’ll get to GOAT status without a doubt. MJ didn’t change teams, MJ didn’t change teammates, nothing, it was all steady (and kind of diva like, to go play baseball for a year). Lebron has done a lot of things that could have gone south and it didn’t… maybe because he’s really the greatest, no?

    MJ incorporated Rodman…not the same as Russ but still…

    There’s also the Phil vs. Vogel angle…can Vogel coach Russ?

  109. Z-man: There’s also the Phil vs. Vogel angle…can Vogel coach Russ?

    Can anyone coach Russ? I get the feeling he does his thing, no matter who the coach is, and no matter who his teammates are.

  110. Given his stat line from last night, it should be easy for Russ to get a Little better.

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