Last year, the Knicks won 53 games with a very veteran squad that was still buying in to the idea of passing the basketball.
This year, Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace are gone and coaching other teams. The Knicks also let two of the top 3 point shooters leave for no good reason. They resigned JR Smith even when they clearly shouldn't have done so. They whiffed on draft picks the previous years, missing out on Ty Lawson and Reggie Jackson despite my pleas to pick them. What a shame. So the team was left without ball movement or three point shooting, resigned JR Smith, and then drafted a better SG. Of course all of this pushes Shumpert to depression as well.
That depressing recap aside, based on Win Shares, the Knicks have played like a 32 win team. Here is about how many wins each player would provide, extrapolated from the games already played:
|Metta World Peace||0.9|
This is how many they provided last season:
So what can they do? If Chandler plays the remaining 2/3 of the season, the Knicks should be about 6 games better. If JR Smith plays like he did last season, that would win the Knicks maybe 4 more games. That would put the Knicks at 42 wins and in the playoffs. Unfortunately, the remaining 11 wins from Novak, Copeland, and Kidd won't return. Felton has a slim chance of playing into shape, and JR might be getting healthy too. There's your optimism.