Its been so long since we've had the chance to watch competitive Knick basketball that had meaning. Over the past couple of years we've been looking forward to this upcoming season, marking it on our calendars in preparation. The 2010-2011 NBA Season is supposed to be different. Different how? Well since we've completely gutted our roster like a catfish in New Orleans and built it from the ground up things should be different. In our case change was not a bad thing, we needed change and lots of it. Now that we finally have changed this upcoming season is more intriguing then any other in recent memory. We are built to win and built to be respected as a franchise, that is the difference. This is our "Ultimate Test" for the upcoming season. Winning and eventually making the playoffs even if it means a first round elimination. If we can't make it to the playoffs it will be a huge embarrassment in my opinion. In the media eyes it would be perceived as "The same Ol' Knicks" and I couldn't care less what any of those pricks think, but as a Knick fan I wouldn't be able to show my face. Let me show you why, as Seth would say "Take the jump with me."
Here's the top 8 seeds from the Eastern Conference last season
53-29, Key Offseason Changes- Joe Johnson buys the State of Georgia with the money from his new contract and then pays for a translator to translate his murmurs at press conferences and various other public appearances.
50-32, Key Offseason Changes- LeBron James acquired, Chris Bosh acquired, A entirely new damn team acquired, During the season a reality show staring Wade, James and Bosh will premiere and be called Los Tres Hombres Gay Calientes!
44-38, Key Offseason Changes- Tyrus Thomas acquired, Tyson Chandler traded, Erick Dampier acquired, Raymond Felton signs with the New York Knicks, Michael Jordan removes his name from the Hall Of Fame and signs with the Bobcats to lead them back into the playoffs.
41-41, Key Offseason Changes- Hakim Warrick traded, Kirk Hinrich traded, Carlos Boozer acquired, Kyle Korver acquired, Tom Thibodeau replaces Vinny Del Negro, John Paxton is assaulted by a maintenance man after a failed attempt to steal from a out of order vending machine and was relieved of his duties.
If the New York Knicks wanted to make the playoffs next year they would have to take the place of one of these franchises. Who will it most likely be? For starters, I think we all can agree that the Cavs aren't gonna be the 1 seed and are very likely to miss the playoffs completely. Here's when things get slightly tricky. The other "iffy" teams that stick out to me are the Bucks and the Bobcats. In my opinion these two are a coin flip. The Bobcats can be worst then they were last year after losing Felton and Chandler. Plus Miami, Orlando and Atlanta is in their division and their wins are gonna take a hit for sure, thus adding on loses. The Bucks haven't really lost anything and they will be getting Andrew Bogut back with Maggette and Gooden BUT when teams in their division (Bulls) and teams in the conference (Knicks, Heat, possibly Wizards, Pistons, Pacers or Sixers) are getting better will the Bucks still get enough wins to get a playoff position? These three teams are all likely to have there playoff spot robbed from them by the teams below who missed the playoffs last season. I'm not saying a team below can take the Cavs 1seed or the Bucks 6 seed, but the Cavs, Bucks and/or Bobcats can miss the playoffs and these teams on the bubble can creep in and claim a playoff spot.
Here's the top 7 teams that missed the Playoffs.
40-42, Key Offseason Changes- Chris Bosh signs with the Miami heat, Hedo Turkoglu traded to the Phoenix Suns, Leandro Barbosa acquired, Linas Kleiza acquired, Team now wears hockey jersey that reads "Canadians Skate Bitch." Steve Nash requests a trade to the Raptors soon after.
29-53, Key Offseason Changes- Acquired Amare Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike, Ronny Turiaf, Timofey Mozgov and Roger Mason Jr., David Lee traded, Knicks relocate from New York to Israel. (More on the relocation later)
27-55, Key Offseason Changes- After wasting truckloads of money on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, the Pistons still ended the season with a horrendous 27-55 record thus leading Joe Dumars to sell the team to the devil.
27-55, Key Offseason Changes- Primoz Brezec signs with Milwaukee Bucks, Tony Battie acquired, Allen Iverson is back yet again but this time as the 76'ers mascot "Hip Hop" aka "The coolest mascot in the NBA".
26-56, Key Offseason Changes- Mike Miller signs with the Miami Heat, Josh Howard acquired, Kevin Seraphin acquired, John Wall dance sparks routine halftime dance off between players and coaching staff.
12-70, Key Offseason Changes- Chris Douglas-Roberts signs with the Milwaukee Bucks, Tony Battie signs with the Philadelphia 76'ers, After failing to deliver on any promises, Mikhail Prokhorov will be locked in a room with a bear. May the best man win.
Look at this garbage. After looking at these teams it's kind of hard to imagine that the Bucks and/or Bobcats could miss the playoffs next year and be substituted by one of them. Out of the teams that had losing seasons the Knicks have the best shot at getting into the playoffs by far. I'm not saying that because I'm a Knick fan, its just common sense and anyone who disagrees lacks sense period. We are the most improved team on paper but improving on the court is what matters and that remains to be seen. The Pacers, 76'ers and the Pistons are dark horses in this thing. I think either one of those teams can battle for a spot but it will not be easy for them or us either. Personally I think the Pistons are gonna see a few more wins and raise some eyebrows so look out for them in your rear view. The Knicks are capable enough (On paper) to be at least a 6 or 7 seed next year with the potential to upset a higher seed. With the way this offseason turned out we have teams in this conference that got a lot better and also a lot worst so their is gonna be some changes around here. If we miss the playoffs again, assuming everyone's healthy enough to compete at a respectable level then it will be sad sad times for us as Knick fans. After dismantling our team and completely rebuilding, the playoffs should be a must for the upcoming season. There is really no if's and's or but's about it, making the playoffs should be definite. If we make the playoffs I'm happy because we have opportunities to get even better. If we miss out on the playoffs I will riot in the city streets and I will be expecting you to join me. Here's ESPN's take on the Eastern Conference Standings for next season thanks to Flossy.