What better way for New York Knicks fans to lick the wounds of 2012-13 than to line up some bold predictions for 2013-14?
The problem is, it’s hard to feel so bold heading into this offseason given the Knicks will mostly stand pat.
Worse, the bar is now higher, and the Eastern Conference’s competition is fiercer.
Each of the last three seasons—beginning with the Amar’e Stoudemire's pickup through the acquisitions of Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin—the Knicks improved steadily.
They upped their regular-season winning percentage (.512 to .659), improved their seeding (No. 6 to No. 2) and advanced further in the playoffs (Round 1 sweep to six games in the semifinals).
How much more improvement can be expected with essentially the same roster?
Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers have proved to be a new force in the East, Derrick Rose will be returning to a Chicago Bulls team that looked good without him (and swept the Knicks 4-0 in the regular season) and the Miami Heat will either be looking for the three-peat or be awfully mad.
This all adds up to some soberingly realistic (and is some cases, pessimistic) bold predictions.