How the Knicks get to 40 wins
by RICH SANTONOCITO on 29. OCT, 2010 in KNICKS
I predicted that the Knicks would win 40 games this season. After taking a closer look at how the Knicks could get to that 40-win mark, it doesn’t seem as easy as I thought.
Here is a W-L team-by-team group breakdown of how the Knicks can get to 40 wins:
New Jersey Nets: 3-1
Toronto Raptors: 3-1
Cleveland Cavaliers: 3-1
Indiana Pacers: 3-1
Philadelphia 76ers: 3-1
Washington Wizards: 2-1
Detroit Pistons: 2-1
Charlotte Bobcats: 2-1
*Note: By breaking teams into groups, it leaves room for error in predicting the record against each individual team. For instance, the Knicks could go 4-0 against the Raptors and 2-2 against the 76ers, but the record against the group doesn’t change.*
In 29 games against those nine Eastern Conference teams combined, the Knicks should be 21-8. This group of teams is the key. These are games the Knicks have to win to get to that 40-win mark. If the Knicks really kick it into another gear, hopefully they will sweep the season series’ against some of these teams like the Wizards, Pistons and Nets. The more wins the Knicks get against these eight teams, the more likely they are to reach the 40-win mark. At best, I could envision the Knicks going 24-5 against these eight teams, but that is a tall, tall task to ask for.
Minnesota Timberwolves, L.A. Clippers, Sacramento Kings & Memphis Grizzlies: 6-2
Add in a 6-2 record against four of the lesser Western Conference teams and the Knicks should be 27-10 in those 37 games.
Orlando Magic: 0-4
Miami Heat: 0-4
Boston Celtics: 1-3
Atlanta Hawks: 2-2
Milwaukee Bucks: 2-2
Chicago Bulls: 1-2
A 6-17 record against top Eastern Conference foes puts the Knicks at 33-27 and hovering above the .500% mark.
This means that to hit the 40-win mark, the Knicks will have to go 7-15 against the Portland Trailblazers, L.A. Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Hornets, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz, all Western Conference teams.
Can they do it?
If the Knicks take care of business against “beatable” teams, they should have a fighting chance at getting to 40 wins. And by saying “take care of business”, I mean sweeping some of the season series against the so-called “beatable teams”. Like I said in the intro, it’s easier to say 40 wins than find them on the schedule. The Knicks are going to have to get on some hot streaks and win more than six games against the better Easter Conference teams.