The New York Knicks didn't like the prediction at the time, but nobody can say that the ESPN SCHOENE projection didn't warn them.
Before the 2013-14 NBA season began, ESPN's SCHOENE system (via ESPN.com's Kevin Pelton) predicted that the New York Knicks would win only 37 games in the upcoming season. That seemed like a pretty low total for a team that went 54-28 and pushed the Indiana Pacers to six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals in the 2012-13 season.
Here's what factored into the SCHOENE system's projection:
- 3-point outage
- Fewer looks, makes for Anthony
- The effects of age
Back in October, the Knicks dismissed the projection.
New York coach Mike Woodson addressed the prediction, via ESPNNewYork.com's Matt Ehalt:
Do they play? It’s a computer system. So I don’t think computers run up and down the floor. You still gotta play the game. I don’t get caught up into that. Bottom line is we take it one game at a time and put our best foot forward and we try to win. That’s what it’s all about.
I have no control over the computers, I really don’t. All I can control is our team and how we play, and that’s all I’m going to try to do.
Woodson wasn't the only one who disagreed with the projections. Knicks star Carmelo Anthony also thought that the win total seemed a bit low.
"Sometimes there's glitches in the computer," Anthony said via Ehalt. "That's all I got to say."
Well, it's now April 16—which happens to be the final day of the regular season. When you look at the standings, you can see that the Knicks had a disappointing season.
What was New York's record for the 2013-14 season? 37-45. Nailed it.
As good as the projection was, there was a flaw with it. The SCHOENE system projected the Knicks would make the playoffs by finishing seventh in the Eastern Conference. As bad as the Eastern Conference was, they finished in ninth place and missed the postseason by one game.
Now that the season is over, the Knicks are probably wishing that system had been 100 percent accurate. Had it been, they'd be preparing for the playoffs instead of beginning their offseason. Now the organization gets a head start on a critical offseason, which will be focused on Anthony's future.
[H/t SI's Extra Mustard]