10) New York Knicks 54-28 in the 2012-2013 season. 2nd in the East. 1st in the Atlantic.
The Knicks had such high expectations last year that losing in the Second Round to the Indiana Pacers put a big hit on the franchise. They were expected to be the East rival to the Heat, yet Carmelo couldn't carry the team on his own. Felton and Chandler had decent years, however with Amare's injuries and JR's fall in the playoffs, this team struggled to do much. This year many have this team out of the top 4 in the East with the rises of Indiana, Brooklyn and Chicago to combat Miami. If they're gonna make a run with this roster, this would be the year to do it.
Acquired: Andrea Bargnani, Metta World Peace, Beno Udrich
Drafted: Tim Hardaway Jr (#24)
Lost: Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd, Chris Copeland, Steve Novak
Starters: Raymond Felton (PG), Iman Shumpert (SG), Metta World Peace (SF), Carmelo Anthony (PF), Tyson Chandler (C)
Bench: J.R. Smith (SG), Andrea Bargnani (PF), Amare Stoudemire (PF), Pablo Prigioni (PG), Beno Udrich (PG)
Up: Iman Shumpert - Shump is really the only younger guy on this team. He's an aggressive defensive threat and a great player in transition. He was one of the only bright spots in the Knicks failed postseason run for his rise during the year. He's going to have to shut down a lot of threats on other teams if the Knicks are going to get farther in the playoffs this year. A lot of pressure for a young kid who had a knee injury early in his young career.
Down: Amare Stoudemire - Everything has gone downhill for Amare in New York. The original free agent signing to spark the Knicks before Melo has never really found his stride due to injuries. This year is a big one if he ever wants to get his career back to the way it was before his injuries. The former Power Forward monster is now looking to try and stay healthy and to make a difference on the Knicks team that desperately needs him.
X-Factor: Carmelo Anthony - Melo moved to the Knicks to finally have a shot at the title he's been striving at for so long, yet his time on the Knicks has yet to get him even close to that NBA title. Now with Free Agency once again looming for Anthony, the Knicks are going to want to put some better pieces around him. This is going to be a huge year for the future of the New York Knicks, and if they're looking to find success, it will have to revolve around Carmelo.
Question to Ponder...Can Carmelo Anthony win in the playoffs?
This is an intriguing question to me. Here's a crazy stat...Carmelo Anthony has made the playoffs in all 10 years he has been in the league, yet he has gotten out of the first round only twice, and made the Conference Finals once in 2008-2009, when the Nuggets lost to the Lakers four games to two. So to bring up the question...can Carmelo ever win the title? His style is one where you could see a struggle in the postseason. While he jacks up his fair share of shots, he really doesn't get back much on defense and his passing isn't really much of a threat. Is it just his style, or does he just keep getting a lack of talent around him to make a run? Speaking of Carmelo...
Bold Prediction for the New York Knicks: Carmelo will leave the Knicks in Free Agency next year!
Queue the Knicks fans freaking out over this article. I just don't see how Melo can look at this New York team and think he can win a title here. His good friend Amare is having his career free fall in front of him. They just signed Andrea Bargnani as their "big pickup" and the only young guy on this team is Iman Shumpert. He has to look around at this league, especially at teams like Houston and Chicago and wonder what he could do on teams with such high amounts of talent. If he does stay in New York, I wouldn't be shocked due to his ties to the city, yet I just don't think he's convinced this is the place he's going to get that title he's been working so hard for.
Projected Record: 49-33 5th in the East, 2nd the Atlantic.