> 'Melo, Chandler get healthy within the next few days, allowing the Knicks to hang on to the two or three seed in the East.
Frankly I am fine with Melo and Chandler getting rest now, rather than later in season. I do not think it is the crisis that talk radio does.
> Amar'e heals up quicker than expected and is back in time to get some meaningful playing time in the first round before getting back up to speed in time for the second round matchup with Indiana.
This is unlikely. More likely is that he can help in limited ways in the second round, and is starting to become effective in the conference finals.
> Rasheed Wallace comes back going into the playoffs and helps spread the floor for Melo and Amar'e posting up down low.
It seems to me that this is plausible, if only because why wouldn't the Knicks have already waived him for, say, Delonte West otherwise?
> Knicks sign Delonte West to shore up their pick and roll defense at the point and give another guard who can break down defenses going to the hole (along with Felton).
I think this is unlikely. More likely is that they draft a player like Kabongo (Texas) in the offseason.
> Shump continues to grow stronger and quicker and is back to where he was defensively at the end of last season.
> He maintains the strong three-point percentage he has been shooting while bringing up his overall FG %.
Shumpert has been really starting to play well, even during the road trip. Very good sign, overlooked by the pundits.
> JR has his ups and downs but gets hot entering the playoffs and continues to take it to the hole, getting to the foul
> line on a regular basis.
JR is the X-factor. If he just drove to the hole instead of shooting 4-20 he could be such a plus. However, it is hard to see him maturing at this point.
> Novak's defense goes from horrible to somewhat tolerable, and he makes up for it with his increased scoring production,
> aided by Woodson running him around more screens to get him open.
Novak's defense is not going to get better. The most we can hope for is that the team defense shores up. It is also a mystery to me why we only set picks for the ball-handler and not offside screens for Novak. Maybe we pull this out of the hat only in the playoffs?
> Kidd's minutes get reduced to 15-20 per game, leaving him well-rested enough to play like he was at the beginning
> of the year and make a nice contribution in the playoffs.
I wish Woodson were Popovich. However, let's hope the light bulb goes on at some point. That said, I expect that Kidd is alrready saving it for the playoffs and will be a different player when we get there.
> Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby get plenty of playing time while Amar'e and Sheed are out, giving them enough playing time
> to get into a good rhythm going into the playoffs, where they will offer tough defense and more big bodies.
This is already happening to some extent. Also, for Copeland.
> Melo comes back with a vengeance, putting up huge scoring numbers, playing committed defense, and getting
> his teammates involved, on his way to winning his first MVP.
I never bought the "Knicks are better without Melo" but I was in the "Melo out two to three weeks in March has a silver lining" camp.
> Knicks beat the Hawks 4-1 in the first round
I am OK however the Knicks get past the first round.
> Knicks beat the Pacers in a tough 7-game series, with 'Sheed, Amar'e, Camby and K-Mart coming up big
> against the Pacers strong front line.
This is about right.
> Just before game 1 of the Eastern conference finals, Lebron pulls a hammy while going for a 360
> between-the-legs dunk in the pre-game warm-ups, putting him on the bench for most of the series.
> Behind a strong defensive series by Shump on D-Wade, the Knicks pull out a miracle 4-2 to make
> it to the finals for the first time in over a decade.
An injury to Wade or Bosh is more plausible than one to LeBron. In any case, this is why you take it one step at a time, realizing that the longer you go the more "anything can happen". That said, I would be satisfied with losing a hard-fought series to the Heat in the conference finals, and also think that the Knicks can win a series against the Heat even without a major injury to a Heat superstar. Do I expect it? No. Do I think it is wildly implausible? Also, no.
> Facing the much younger Thunder in the finals, experience and the Knicks' penchant for slow, grind-it-out play trumps
> the Thunder's youth and up-tempo style, with the Knicks finishing the series up 4-3, with 'Melo getting Finals MVP.
> Knicks champions 2013 baby!
I would say that the Thunder and Spurs are most likely, while the Grizzlies and Lakers are also possible opponents. I would also say that once you get there anything can happen.