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  1. #1
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    Nyk Logo Sports Illustrated writers are Grading the Knicks the same as ESPN writers .. SMH

    NBA offseason grades: Knicks stay busy, but remain mediocre

    With most of the NBA summer already in the books, SI.com is grading each team’s off-season performance and examining their best and worst moves. Today, we dissect the Atlantic Division, where two teams took major steps forward this summer (spoiler alert: the Knicks are not one of them).

    New York Knicks
    Best Move: Trying, for Carmelo. Carmelo Anthony now has three gold medals and is the most decorated Olympian in U.S. men's history, but people have come out in droves to remind everyone that Anthony doesn’t have an NBA ring. I’ve developed some respect for Anthony’s willingness to wait it out in New York, and though the actual plan is 100% flawed, at least the Knicks’ front office is trying to give him help. Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah have seen better days, but they will certainly make the Knicks’ season interesting. Let’s just hope young Kristaps comes out of this mess with his touches intact. — J.W.
    Worst Move: Signing Joakim Noah. The NBA’s other superteam, the Knicks, acquired a culture upgrade by bringing over Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah from Chicago. While the Rose gamble is mitigated by his one-year deal, the Noah signing already screams disaster. A passing savant and defensive tone-setter at his height, Noah has been beset by injuries the past two seasons. Noah could only muster 21.9 minutes per game in 2015–16. Even with the massive cap spike, Noah already looks like an overpay in Year 1, and his contract could be much worse by Year 4. Noah will probably end up being a slight downgrade from the departed Robin Lopez. — R.N.
    The Skinny: The only things standing between the Knicks and an “A” for their off-season grade is a time machine and an invincibility cloak. Unfortunately, Phil Jackson’s major additions are living in 2016, rather than 2011, and they are burdened by years of accumulated health concerns.
    That’s really all it takes for New York’s summer to be viewed in a pessimistic light. Rose, one of the NBA’s least efficient high-volume shooters, will earn $21 million next season before hitting unrestricted free agency next summer. In the likely event that his play on both sides of the ball continues to lag far behind his top form from five years ago, Rose would wind up being an “all sizzle, no steak” addition. In the unlikely event that he finally gets his career back on track after multiple knee surgeries, New York would be forced to pay him while continuing to worry about his health.
    Adding Rose was a lose- lose proposition, and that’s before one accounts for the fact that trading for him cost the Knicks a reliable and productive center in Robin Lopez.
    Signing Noah, 31, to a four-year deal worth $72 million following the worst season of his career is simply inexplicable. The former All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year has been hit hard by injuries over the last two seasons, and his lacking offensive game has been increasingly difficult to work around. New York is left praying that Noah will somehow be able to reclaim and sustain his peak mobility and motor on defense. Otherwise, his signing could look like one of the summer’s worst by the time the trade deadline rolls around.
    Jackson’s other moves—signing shooting guard Courtney Lee (four years, $48 million) and back-up point guard Brandon Jennings (one-year, $5 million) were far more agreeable. Lee fits in nicely as a complementary 3-and-D option, while Jennings is a capable stand-in starter should Rose find himself donning street clothes.
    If there’s a winner here, it’s probably All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, who may enjoy the illusion of playing for a team that seems serious about a postseason run. Rose, Noah and Lee all boast significant postseason experience, and all are aligned fairly closely in age with Anthony. Given New York’s lacking depth and the very real possibility of an injury or two blowing apart this plan completely, Anthony would be wise to keep his expectations in check.
    The most flummoxing part of New York’s off-season, however, is what it says about Kristaps Porzingis. New York’s Rookie of the Year runner-up finds himself on a veteran-dominated roster that apparently wants to win now. Porzingis also finds himself as a tertiary option on the pecking order, given Anthony’s alpha role and Rose’s natural scoring inclinations. Jackson will have a lot of explaining to do if these new roster circumstances cause Porzingis to plateau in Year Two.
    Needless to say, new coach Jeff Hornacek will have his hands completely full. In Phoenix, Hornacek overachieved in his first season before falling victim to an imbalanced roster, personality conflicts, and unresolved tension among his leading offensive options. Gulp. Hornacek must now find a way to keep both Anthony and Rose happy with their roles on offense and motivated on defense, develop Porzingis, balance Noah’s availability issues against his roster’s lack of interior depth, and keep Jackson involved with the philosophical approach of the team. Gulp again.
    The safe money here is to bet on something going wrong after a splashy summer that lacked a coherent vision.
    Grade: D

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    Last edited by Kiyaman; Aug 24, 2016 at 17:50.

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    Philadelphia 76ers
    Best Move: Emptying the deck. Taking Ben Simmons (and not Brandon Ingram) signaled the Sixers are ready to be competitive again—and ready to try and figure out how these parts all fit. With Joel Embiid presumably ready to return, Dario Saric coming over from Turkey and Simmons here to anchor the franchise, the future in Philadelphia is bright for the first time years. Brett Brown can mix and match and the front office can decide which prospects to build around. Some of these guys are inevitably going to get traded, and some of them likely won’t pan out. But at least Philly is moving forward, finally. — Jeremy Woo
    Worst move: No gambles. That the 76ers are actually trying to play with NBA-caliber players—as the signings of Gerald Henderson and Jerryd Bayless would suggest—is a welcome development for a team whose previous strategy was first utilized by a bored 13-year-old playing franchise mode on NBA 2K. Overall, the 76ers played things very safe this summer, mostly staying out of the free-agent frenzy despite gobs of cap space. Financial restraint is actually commendable, but Philly should have maybe looked harder at some of the young talent around the league. Maybe gamble on Dion Waiters for a year. Were they ever really in on Harrison Barnes? Employ the Brooklyn strategy? While it's OK to play things safe for now, Philly’s conservative nature shouldn’t carry over into the future. — Rohan Nadkarni
    The Skinny: The transition of power from Sam Hinkie to the Colangelos easily could have resulted in regrettable decisions this summer. The new regime could have been too eager to blow money on veterans, or it could have overthought the No. 1 pick, or it could have rushed to clean house by dumping some of the roster’s excess young big men
    So far, none of those nightmares have materialized. Instead, Philadelphia did just about everything right this summer, starting with the decision to select Ben Simmons. A matchup nightmare with elite playmaking skills, Simmons has franchise player potential, which is precisely what the Sixers needed after three years of “The Process.”
    From there, Philadelphia did well to add to its deep pool of young talent, inking Croatian wing Dario Saric, a 2014 first-round pick, and taking French forward Timothe Luwawu in the first round. With Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel all still on the roster, the Sixers have cemented their status as a “Must-watch” League Pass team early in the season. The collective intrigue of Philadelphia’s under-23 talent is off the charts.
    The Sixers’ veteran additions were more or less restrained, targeted moves. Shooting guard Gerald Henderson arrives after spending one year in Portland on a reasonable two-year, $18 million contract. He won’t set the world on fire, but he gives coach Brett Brown a respectable and proven complementary backcourt option. Remarkably, Jerryd Bayless wound up being Philadelphia’s biggest splurge of the summer ($27 million over three years). Yes, it’s a bit shocking that a pedestrian back-up guard like Bayless is now a team’s highest-paid player, but he could prove helpful to Simmons’s Sixers, as he can stroke the three and play on or off the ball on offense.
    Lastly, Philadelphia indulged in a worthwhile (and modest) gamble, hoping that Spanish point guard Sergio Rodriguez’s return to the NBA will go over better than his first go-around. Rodriguez, a flashy playmaker who logged big minutes for Spain during the Olympics, played for Portland, Sacramento and New York from 2006 to 2010 before returning to his home country. Now 30, Rodriguez is a more mature and polished player who should enjoy the pressure-free environment in Philadelphia. Given that Philadelphia’s cap sheet is clean and that Rodriguez agreed to a one-year deal worth $8 million, you can file this move under “Sure, why not?”
    With Simmons needing time to find his NBA footing and so many future draft picks still in the pipeline, Philadelphia did well this summer to prioritize an organic rebuilding process over a rush job. At the same time, the Sixers added multiple hole-plugging veterans on reasonable contracts who should help this year’s group avoid the ultra-ugly embarrassing campaigns that came to define the Hinkie era. Good stuff.
    Grade: A

    Boston Celtics
    Best Move: Al Horford, duh. Despite their wealth of trade chips, the Celtics have been unable to acquire a franchise-altering star in recent years. But Boston's luck finally changed this summer when it landed a high-profile star in Al Horford. Of course, this is 30-year-old Al Horford, but his diverse set of skills and versatility makes him an ideal cog for a fluid Celtics roster. Brad Stevens will enjoy empowering Horford on both sides of the ball, and Celtics fans will keep waiting for another star to arrive. We’ll see how long it takes this time around. — J.W.
    Worst Move: Not cashing in. While Al Horford is a coup, Jaylen Brown is a question mark at No. 3, and fellow first-round selection Guerschon Yabusele won’t be on the team for at least one season. Boston’s picks weren’t as highly valued around the league as they were on trade machines, which made it hard for them to snag someone like Jimmy Butler this summer. This isn’t all Boston’s fault, but instead a stark reminder of the perfect storm needed for teams to acquire a franchise player. — R.N.
    The Skinny: Celtics president Danny Ainge absolutely nailed his biggest move—the successful free-agency pursuit of Al Horford—and sometimes that’s enough to carry an entire summer.
    Horford, the second-best free agent to change teams this summer, makes for a brilliant fit in Boston: he fills a positional need, he open up numerous big-man combinations for coach Brad Stevens, he's a committed contributor on defense, he can play inside and out and he has extensive postseason experience. All of those factors should come in handy as Boston looks to build on a 48-win season and win a playoff series for the first time since 2012.
    The on-court stuff with the Horford addition is only half the story. Because Ainge had so thoroughly stripped down his roster in recent years, the Celtics were perfectly positioned to offer Horford a four-year max contract without feeling real pain. While the 30-year-old Horford’s play could start declining before the end of his new contract, Boston won’t be boxed into a corner if that happens because it currently has no other truly significant contracts on the books.
    The best part, though, is that Ainge was able to acquire a legit All-Star without sacrificing young players or draft picks in a trade. Now, Boston can prepare for another round of trade rumors as Ainge looks to further closer the gap with the Cavaliers. Between Stevens, Horford, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crwoder and an elite defense, the Celtics now have a strong case as the second-best team in the East. And, unlike some of their second-tier competitors like the Raptors, Hawks and Heat, they didn’t suffer any truly damaging roster departures this summer. Evan Turner’s all-around contributions off the bench will be missed, but his move to Portland is hardly a backbreaker.
    Ainge’s only other move of major consequence was selecting 19-year-old wing Jaylen Brown with the No. 3 pick in the draft. Although that selection was met with a mixed reaction due to Brown’s somewhat unimpressive freshman season at Cal, he showed promising flashes towards the end of Las Vegas Summer League and he will be in position to develop gradually in a limited role.
    The most exciting part of Boston’s summer is what it will mean for Stevens, who has done well to maximize a fairly limited rosters during his three years in the pros. Now, Stevens can shift gears, turning his attention to assimilating Horford and, if everything goes according to plan, boosting Boston’s offense into the top 10 for the first time since 2009. Even if the Celtics remain at least one more move away from true title contention, there’s no denying that they significantly improved their three-year outlook over the last few months.
    Grade: A

    Brooklyn Nets
    Best Move: Not doing anything crazy. To be totally fair, Brooklyn’s new front office took on a wildly awful assignment. With the next few seasons likely a wash, the Nets did the wise thing this summer by making sure they didn’t jeopardize their future. They tried, of course, with restricted free-agent offers to Allen Crabbe and Tyler Johnson, but both the Blazers and Heat elected to match the massive offer sheets. That's probably a good thing for Brooklyn as it'll benefit from not having its hands tied long term. Now, they have to hope rookies Caris LeVert and Isaiah Whitehead can break into the rotation by the spring. — J.W.
    Worst Move: Targeting restricted free agents. The Nets had a promising off-season under new general manager Sean Marks, but their biggest plans were spoiled by other teams. Instead of Brooklyn radically re-making its core with young, athletic guards, it was left with Trevor Booker and Jeremy Lin as its key acquisitions. While Booker and Lin are solid veterans for a team in desperate need of some, they don’t really give Brooklyn much to build around. The Nets did what they had to do—they did their best to offer hard-to-match deals—but Marks was given a sobering reminder of the uphill battle the Nets have to climb in their rebuilding efforts. — R.N.
    The Skinny: Forget about Jay-Z. Memphis Bleek and Amil wouldn’t be caught dead sitting courtside at a Nets game this year. Brooklyn’s roster is the worst kind of depressing: it’s loaded with veterans but lacking in star power. Simply put, there’s not much to cheer for in the short term and there’s not much to dream about in the long term, either.
    Unfortunately, that was going to be the case no matter what new GM Sean Marks did this summer, as Brooklyn’s previous regime will be shouldering the bulk of the blame for the state of the Nets roster for at least the next two or three seasons.
    Brooklyn’s guiding principle this off-season seemed to be: “Avoid making the type of big mistakes that got us in this mess in the first place.” As such, the team failed to acquire any players that generate true excitement or optimism. Jeremy Lin is likely to be a fan favorite and he’s set up for success thanks to an established relationship with new Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, but he’s not cut out to be a franchise savior.
    • NBA’s biggest off-season moves of last 15 years | Free agency’s worst deals
    Marks’s other major signings—Trevor Booker, Luis Scola, Greivis Vasquez and Randy Foye—would all make more sense if Brooklyn was a 48-win team trying to fill out its bench rather than a team stuck in a long-term rebuild. The fact that all four veterans arrived on short-term contracts isn’t really a win, but rather a sign that they are fairly anonymous placeholders for a team that knows it’s not quite ready to build a real core yet. Really, the best-case scenario is that these middling veterans turn into trade chips at the deadline. Poor Brook Lopez.
    The Net’s biggest textbook rebuilding move—cashing in Thaddeus Young for a first-round pick they used to draft Caris LeVert—was perhaps Marks’s best play of the summer. At his age, Young was better suited to a team with playoff aspirations, while LeVert, 21, has the potential to be a rare beacon of hope in the Barclays Center wasteland if he can move past a leg injury that brought his senior year at Michigan to an early end.
    After so many years of risky and/or expensive moves, Brooklyn’s boring summer practically feels like a relief. At the same time, this is still an organization that could very well take a step back after a 21-win season despite the presence of numerous vets in its rotation. In other words, this is a new flavor of awful, but it’s still awful. On the bright side, Marks didn’t shoot himself in the foot right off the bat, which counts as a promising sign in an environment where expectations really couldn’t fall any lower.
    Grade: C-

    Toronto Raptors
    Best Move: Keeping DeRozan home. This was kind of a no-brainer, and never even felt that up in the air, but the Raptors couldn't afford to lose DeRozan, who could very well end up as the most important player in franchise history. That’s some admittedly heavy conjecture, but what Toronto has accomplished with the trio Masai Ujiri has been one of the NBA’s better success stories. His contract is huge, but points to stability within the franchise, and the team was predictably thrifty around him in adding free-agent Jared Sullinger and draftee Jakob Poeltl, who should both contribute to the frontcourt this season. Keeping Lowry at a fair price after the upcoming season, in which he’ll turn 31, might be trickier. — J.W.
    Worst Move: Not signing LeBron James. The Raptors didn’t really do anything this summer. They let Bismack Biyombo walk, which made sense considering they'd already committed big money to Jonas Valanciunas. They’ve been near the top of the East for a few years, but like everyone else in this conference, are handcuffed by LeBron James's existence. Keeping DeMar DeRozan ensures the Raptors will be a playoff team in the East. There’s just not much more they can do after that. — R.N.
    The Skinny: The Raptors threw the party of a lifetime during the 2016 playoffs, fighting through longstanding questions about their postseason resolve to advance to the Eastern Conference for the first time in franchise history. Then they woke up on July 1, saw the bill, and grimaced as they reached for the credit card.
    Make no mistake, All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan had one heck of a contract year in 2015-16, logging big minutes and posting career numbers. DeRozan enjoyed numerous advantages in his negotiations with the Raptors: he had formed a strong relationship with the fan base over seven years in Toronto, he had struck up a deep friendship with fellow All-Star guard Kyle Lowry, his contract came due at the peak of Raptors-related excitement, and he displayed night-to-night dependability throughout the 2015-16 season after missing 20+ games due to injury the previous year. Raptors GM Masai Ujiri didn’t have much of a choice: he had to pay up to re-sign DeRozan or risk an immediate backlash among fans and within the locker room.
    With all of that context in place, there’s still no way to characterize a five-year, $139 million contract for DeRozan as a great development for the organization. Indeed, as soon as DeRozan’s pen hit the paper he became one of the league’s highest-paid players—and perhaps its most overpaid. Is it possible for any guard with limited of DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and defensive impact, no three-point range and minimal skills as a playmaker to deliver on a $27 million per year contract? No, or at least not easily. Despite the rising salary cap and the fact that DeRozan gave the Raptors a slight hometown discount, a contract as large as this will crimp Ujiri’s ability to add premium talent going forward.
    That handicap arguably commenced this summer, as the Raptors, with a payroll already topping $100 million, elected not to re-sign Bismack Biyombo. A key figure throughout Toronto’s postseason run, Biyombo played his way into a handsome deal with Orlando, leaving the Raptors to replace him on the depth chart with rookie Jakob Poeltl. The Austrian 7-footer seemingly represented good value at No. 9, but he will almost certainly need years of development to become an impact player. Toronto’s defense, as a result of the center swap, will almost certainly take a step back next season.
    Ujiri’s only other noteworthy summer move aimed to address the power forward spot, a source of recurring stress in recent years. Toronto settled on signing Jared Sullinger to a one-year, $5.6 million contract, a classic “Let’s hope it works out, but we’re not screwed if it doesn’t” signing. Raptors coach Dwane Casey will welcome Sullinger’s rebounding skills and may also look to encourage the former Celtic’s desire to shoot from beyond the arc in hopes of generating space in the half-court.
    The sum total here—more than doubling DeRozan’s salary, losing Biyombo, going sideways with Sullinger as a replacement for Luis Scola and James Johnson—is a definite step backwards. Even so, Toronto remains one of the East’s deepest teams and it will enjoy the benefits of strong continuity as it eyes another extended postseason run.
    Grade: C

  3. #3
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    Here's another kick in the ass by ESPN. Prediction is based on Real Plus Minus (RPM), they have the Knicks winning just 3 games more than last season and finishing just ahead of the Sixers and Nets in the EC, the weak link DRose and the bench.

    That would be a shocker after all the changes this off-season and I think would have profound implications for the Knicks if they only win 35 games and have another lottery season as a bottom feeder.

    Here are the predictions.

    Eastern Conference

    Cleveland Cavaliers Projected wins: 52.1

    While the Cavaliers are still solidly tops in the East, their projection is down from last year's 57 wins because RPM takes a dim view of Kyrie Irving's defense and considers Matthew Dellavedova (plus-1.2 projection) a considerable loss as Irving's backup. Note that this projection assumes J.R. Smith ultimately re-signs in Cleveland.

    Boston Celtics Projected wins: 49.8

    Last year, RPM nailed the Celtics' 48-win finish, though the Raptors jumped ahead of Boston to take second in the East. Now, RPM sees the Celtics taking a modest step forward with the addition of Al Horford.

    Toronto Raptors Projected wins: 48.8

    After getting career years from guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, the Raptors are likely to regress to the pack this year, but fans can take solace in Toronto having outperformed its RPM projection each of the past three seasons.

    Detroit Pistons Projected wins: 47.5

    While most of the East's middle class took a step backward this offseason, the Pistons should improve by virtue of upgrading at backup point guard and center, and RPM sees them as the third team in a tier with Boston and Toronto.

    Washington Wizards Projected wins: 41.4

    There's a big gap between the top four in the East and a pack of teams projected fifth through about 11th. The Wizards lead that group after going 18-13 after last year's All-Star break.

    Charlotte Hornets Projected wins: 41.0

    Though the return of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (plus-2.0) should be a boost, RPM doesn't like the Hornets' new backup backcourt of Ramon Sessions (minus-2.4) and Marco Belinelli (minus-3.7).

    Milwaukee Bucks Projected wins: 40.9

    The Bucks have oscillated between wildly under- and overperforming projections. If that trend holds, this should be the year for exceeding expectations, and RPM views both Dellavedova and Mirza Teletovic (minus-0.6) as upgrades.

    Indiana Pacers Projected wins: 38.9

    By virtue of having one of the East's top players in Paul George and a promising youngster in Myles Turner, the Pacers are getting contender buzz in the East. RPM is not so optimistic, viewing the swap of George Hill (plus-0.8) for Jeff Teague (minus-0.6) as a downgrade.

    Atlanta Hawks Projected wins: 38.6

    RPM has had a tough time forecasting the Hawks, pegging Atlanta for near-.500 records each of the past two seasons, when the Hawks have actually finished second and fourth in the East. This time, Atlanta may have to beat its projection to make the playoffs.

    Miami Heat Projected wins: 38.3

    Even with Chris Bosh in the lineup, the Heat may have a tough time making the playoffs after losing Luol Deng, Joe Johnson and Dwyane Wade. Without Bosh, Miami's projection drops to 35.2 wins and 12th in the East.

    Chicago Bulls Projected wins: 37.8

    RPM doesn't view adding Wade (minus-1.3) and Rajon Rondo (minus-1.4) as upgrades for Chicago, and that's before even taking the fit issues they create into account.

    Orlando Magic Projected wins: 36.2

    The Magic spent big on free agents D.J. Augustin (minus-1.6) and Jeff Green (minus-2.1), neither of whom RPM sees helping Orlando much on the court this season.

    New York Knicks Projected wins: 34.7

    The Knicks would certainly be disappointed if they improved just three wins after spending freely this summer, but RPM rates Derrick Rose (minus-2.3) as a replacement-level contributor at this point and is skeptical of New York's weak bench.

    Brooklyn Nets Projected wins: 28.8

    A full season from second-year wing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (plus-1.2), along with improved play at point guard with Jeremy Lin (minus-0.3), should make the Nets a bit more competitive this season.

    Philadelphia 76ers Projected wins: 24.5

    Even with conservative projections for rookies Ben Simmons (minus-1.9) and Joel Embiid (minus-1.4), the Sixers figure to take a massive step forward this season despite still being projected for the East's worst record.
    Western Conference

    Golden State Warriors Projected wins: 66.8

    Within the context of the conservative nature of win projections, which tend to be regressed heavily to the mean, a 67-win projection is remarkable. The Warriors' projection is two wins higher than the next best in the seven years I've gone back to do projections using this method: 64.9 for the 2010-11 Miami Heat, who actually won just 58 games because of the time it took their version of the Big Three to build chemistry on the court.

    San Antonio Spurs Projected wins: 54.5

    It's a huge step downward to second place in the West. With Tim Duncan's retirement and the aging of other core players, the Spurs will be hard-pressed to stay with Golden State in the regular season as they did last season. But RPM still has them comfortably second in the West.

    Utah Jazz Projected wins: 47.6

    This might seem like a crazy leap for a team that didn't make the playoffs last year, but remember: The Jazz actually had the fifth-best point differential in the West (plus-1.8 PPG). Ordinarily, that would translate into 46 wins, and that was despite injuries (including Dante Exum missing the entire season) and before Utah loaded up with veterans this offseason. The Jazz should be considered the favorites to win the Northwest Division.

    L.A. Clippers Projected wins: 46.3

    Given the Clippers won 53 games last year without Blake Griffin for much of the season, a seven-win drop would be a surprise. But RPM sees several key players on the wrong side of the aging curve.

    Houston Rockets Projected wins: 45.8

    RPM projects the Rockets to be a top-five offense next year, but they'll still struggle to reach 45 wins if their defense is worse than an optimistic projection of 16th in the league.

    Oklahoma City Thunder Projected wins: 45.6

    Even without Durant, RPM forecasts the Thunder in the mix for home-court advantage in the West thanks to star point guard Russell Westbrook and a deep cast of young role players.

    Portland Trail Blazers Projected wins: 44.5

    After reaching the second round of the playoffs and adding Festus Ezeli and Evan Turner this offseason, the Blazers hope to take the next step in their development. RPM sees them as about the same team as 2015-16, when they won 44 games but finished fifth in a weaker West.

    Denver Nuggets Projected wins: 40.4

    Quietly, the Nuggets have assembled an intriguing group of young talent (led by RPM favorite Nikola Jokic, projected for plus-5.0 points per 100 possessions) with a few veterans in tow. Even with Danilo Gallinari projected for just 50 games, internal development could be enough to push Denver into surprising playoff contention.

    Memphis Grizzlies Projected wins: 39.4

    Yes, the Grizzlies strengthened their starting lineup by signing Chandler Parsons, but their bench is incredibly thin and several starters (including Parsons) are major injury risks. Gulp.

    Sacramento Kings Projected wins: 37.7

    The Kings have one of the biggest discrepancies of any team between their projection in ESPN's summer forecast (30 wins, 13th in the West) and by RPM, which sees Sacramento deep in average talent around DeMarcus Cousins.

    Minnesota Timberwolves Projected wins: 37.1

    Remember, RPM projections don't factor in coaching, and the arrival of Tom Thibodeau makes the Timberwolves overwhelmingly likely to outperform their projected ranking of 27th in defensive rating.

    New Orleans Pelicans Projected wins: 37.0

    New Orleans is deeper after shopping for midtier free agents this summer, but RPM projects just three players on the roster to be better than league average: Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and newcomer Solomon Hill.

    Dallas Mavericks Projected wins: 34.3

    Might this be the year that coach Rick Carlisle, veteran big man Dirk Nowitzki and a cast of newcomers can't get the Mavericks to the playoffs? RPM says yes, since swapping Parsons (plus-1.3) for Harrison Barnes (minus-0.7) grades as a major downgrade.

    Phoenix Suns Projected wins: 29.2

    The Suns figure to be a bit more competitive with the return of RPM favorite Eric Bledsoe (plus-2.2) but are still too young to compete in the West.

    L.A. Lakers Projected wins: 24.3

    Despite their offseason additions of No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram and veterans Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov, RPM has the Lakers with the league's fewest projected wins.
    Last edited by tiger0330; Aug 24, 2016 at 18:54.

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    Originally Posted by tiger0330
    Here's another kick in the ass by ESPN. Prediction is based on Real Plus Minus (RPM), they have the Knicks winning just 3 games more than last season and finishing just ahead of the Sixers and Nets in the EC, the weak link DRose and the bench.

    That would be a shocker after all the changes this off-season and I think would have profound implications for the Knicks if they only win 35 games and have another lottery season as a bottom feeder.
    I listened to the explanation of the guy who generated those win projections on the radio today. It's a really dumb number that is based on each player's missed games in the past 3 years as a predictor of injuries. It doesn't take into account the coach, chemistry, motivations, likelihood injuries are in the past, Zinger's development, etc etc.

    There is no reason whatsoever to believe in this projection, and if I can get the over/under at 35 on the Knicks I am liquidating the kids college fund and taking a new mortgage to bet the over in vegas

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    Originally Posted by GordonGecko
    I listened to the explanation of the guy who generated those win projections on the radio today. It's a really dumb number that is based on each player's missed games in the past 3 years as a predictor of injuries. It doesn't take into account the coach, chemistry, motivations, likelihood injuries are in the past, Zinger's development, etc etc.

    There is no reason whatsoever to believe in this projection, and if I can get the over/under at 35 on the Knicks I am liquidating the kids college fund and taking a new mortgage to bet the over in vegas
    GG, I agree, I'm still looking for 45 wins and a playoff berth. I'm going to see if I can find a podcast of Pelton and listen to it.

    If these "experts" are right though and the Knicks have a season like they're predicting all bets are off. Phil is gone, Melo is gone, Rose and Jennings go elsewhere, Noah gets traded, CLee gets traded, starting all over is not what I want to see after 3 years of Phil Jackson.

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    Originally Posted by tiger0330
    GG, I agree, I'm still looking for 45 wins and a playoff berth. I'm going to see if I can find a podcast of Pelton and listen to it.

    If these "experts" are right though and the Knicks have a season like they're predicting all bets are off. Phil is gone, Melo is gone, Rose and Jennings go elsewhere, Noah gets traded, CLee gets traded, starting all over is not what I want to see after 3 years of Phil Jackson.
    It's a lot of hate, bias, and relying on "show me" before they say a single good thing. But more hate than anything, remember the 50 win season? All throughout the critics were destroying the Knicks not giving them any props whatsoever. On the opposite spectrum they bend over backwards to kiss Boston's ass which is a complete joke to me. The Knicks will finish ahead of the Celtics and if I can find a vegas bookie to take my bet I'm putting $20,000 on that.

    Pelton was on with Hahn & Humpty yesterday 8/24

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    Didn't find the Pelton podcast but found this one with Begley and 3 others, pretty good podcast imo. Discusses the RPM methodology and the Knicks for the first 40 minutes of the podcast. Begley says this report is going to piss Knicks fans off, he's right about that and I hope DRose is listening to this because they say he can be replaced by a DJ Augustin or Ish Smith. I do agree with something they discussed if the Knicks wind up 13th in the EC, expect a massive shakeup, PJ is gone and maybe Isiah comes back and Melo asks for a trade probably mid-season if they're sitting in 13th place in Feb.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

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    Originally Posted by tiger0330
    they say he can be replaced by a DJ Augustin or Ish Smith
    He can be replaced by a laundry bag of jock straps if he has the same court time as the past three years and his average play last year which is why it's so dumb. He was really bad coming off the injuries and progressively got better and better. He's now at 100% and healthy, motivated and playing for his last big contract. Their computer model COMPLETELY IGNORES REALITY

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    Originally Posted by GordonGecko
    He can be replaced by a laundry bag of jock straps if he has the same court time as the past three years and his average play last year which is why it's so dumb. He was really bad coming off the injuries and progressively got better and better. He's now at 100% and healthy, motivated and playing for his last big contract. Their computer model COMPLETELY IGNORES REALITY
    DRose is key if the Knicks are going to be successful. He said he's going to be less of a scorer and more of a distributor with the guys around him, I hope he means that. One of the criticisms in that podcast was his fit on the Knicks, needing the ball and his usage% not fitting with Melo and KP.

    Like you say he's playing for a contract and I expect him to play like it this season, only thing that they mentioned in that podcast is it may be a lose lose situation because he's a long term injury risk like Stat was and getting him for one stellar year and then signing him to a long term deal at max is a gamble.

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    And if Rose goes down we have Jennings. What are the odds of both going down?

    And everyone is completely ignoring Carmelo's star status. Carmelo will be enabled by a quality point guard, 1 + 1 = 5

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    They talked about Melo, Rose, KP, Noah, CLee but not a guy that dropped 54pts in a game. smh.

    At the end of that podcast they were going over all the teams that they thought were better than the Knicks, practically the whole EC according to them. smh

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    seriously, where can I put money on the over/under

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    Originally Posted by GordonGecko
    seriously, where can I put money on the over/under
    Tweet Windhorst or Begley maybe they'll take your bet. Actually they both said the computer underrated wins across the board so they think the Knicks win more than 34.7 games.

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    Originally Posted by tiger0330
    Tweet Windhorst or Begley maybe they'll take your bet. Actually they both said the computer underrated wins across the board so they think the Knicks win more than 34.7 games.
    bovada only has odds for the championship or eastern conference

    sportsbook is taking bets on the over / under, which they set at 43:
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    So smart money is assuming a >.500 season which is a complete no brainer

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    People are entitled to their opinions, but I laugh when they try to offer up concrete evidence that validates their hunch as some immutable law or truth.... Sure, reason backed by sound logic is good judgement.... but entropy and chaos and chance always and ultimately determine what eventually becomes reality.

    All the national experts predicted the AL East to be the worst DIV in MLB, and yet here we are with 36 games to play and 4 of the top 8 teams in the AL are in the East.

    As for the NYK... I thought they were crazy to predict 27 wins after our 54 win campaign... They were right tho... So, they have every right to rag on us.

    My point of contention would be to ignore the obvious.... That Rose, regardless of VORP, is a huge upgrade over Calderon-Galloway-Grant.... Even if Rose is hurt, Jennings is a big upgrade too.

    Then you factor in the HC upgrade.... On top of the post Olympic Melo bump (his 2 best season, the 2 years he advanced out of the first round of the playoffs, happened season after winning gold medal)....

    KP is a year older....

    Lee is an upgrade over Affalo....

    Thomas was a big part of our 21-21 team and he is back.

    And we have some kids coming in the Lithuanian and Willy H, who could crack the rotation.

    So, is the main reason to temper excitement bc ROLO is that much better than Noah?

    Now... imagine if Noah & Rose have something left in the tank; imagine if Rose is finally mentally & physically recovered.... and if the rest and getting out of CHI has reinvigorated Noah?

    I personally think this could be the best team Melo has played with since his Western Conference run.... Certainly his best team while in NYK.... If Rose, BJ, & Noah play 75% of the games.... It's all up to Melo then to show the NBA world he is who he thinks he is.... Get to ECF and go head to head with Lebron, just as he did with LAK & Kobe.

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