There is no question that the Nets will be a very good team this year, but sports radio is acting like every possible best scenario will work out for the Nets (Brook Lopez, Garnett, and Pierce play 82 games, etc.), Bulls, and Pacers, and nothing can go right for the Knicks:
1) Amar'e will never play another game, and will get an extension from the Knicks after he retires
2) Bargnani will not even play as well as a Knick as he did as a Raptor, let alone better
3) Shumpert cannot possibly take a major step forward this year, or will be waived for Joe Barry Carroll making a comeback
4) Hardaway and Leslie cannot possibly become solid rotation players, or better
5) Chandler cannot possibly stay healthy with better support
6) Prigioni could not possibly take a big step forward in his second year playing the NBA game
7) World Peace is over the hill, but Pierce and Garnett went back to being 28
8) the Knicks cannot possibly sign a 3rd string PG who contributes
9) the Knicks cannot possibly sign a few competent backup bigs
10) Melo cannot possibly play better than last year, and will obviously play much worse
11) JR Smith cannot possibly continue to improve, and will likely join Aaron Hernandez in jail
12) Kenyon Martin will not re-sign with the Knicks but instead join Alvin Ailey
13) the loss of Kidd and Copeland, last year's Knicks All Stars, guarantees at least ten more losses this year
Sure, if all thirteen of the above assumptions are correct, the Knicks cannot possibly improve on 54 wins.
Oh, and BTW, even if they are the fifth or sixth seed, a #5 or #6 has never made it to the conference finals.
Keep assuming all of the above is correct, and I will keep hoping that none of it is.