Between fanciful predictions about the New York Knicks running the table and dire warnings about a plummet far out of playoff contention, there is a broad middle ground of realistic best and worst case scenarios for the Knicks in the final stretch.
Although they are in a lockout-shortened season, the Knicks have managed to squeeze in a number of eras into this compressed schedule, and it is important to take stock of their ebbs and flows before laying out predictive possibilities for what is still to come.
The Knicks started the year with high hopes that they could go the championship distance by having Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire fill up the hoop. They sputtered early.
The battery looked nearly dead when they got a sudden and completely unexpected jump from an inexperienced NBA point guard groomed in two less renowned leagues: the Ivy league and the D-League. With Jeremy Lin running the show, the Knicks looked like they were headed to a high playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Lin drove the Knicks to a seven game winning streak, but they went into a tailspin of losses that were as dispiriting as "Linsanity" had been inspiring.
In the wake of the Knick nosedive, then-coach Mike D'Antoni helped spur yet another era by resigning and leaving Mike Woodson to steer the course for the rest of the season.
Woodson has shown that the Knicks are in capable hands with him at the helm, leading the once derailed Knicks back onto a winning track.
The following four possibilities for the final results of the regular season are ranked from least to most likely, and worst to best case scenarios, based on current patterns of play for both the Knicks and their key opponents.