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New York Knicks Match 37-Win SCHOENE Projection That Team Previously Mocked

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10:  Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks and his teammates J.R. Smith #8 and Amar'e Stoudemire #1 walk into the locker room at half time against the San Antonio Spurs at Madison Square Garden on November 10, 2013 in New York City. The Spurs defeat the Knicks 120-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Dan FavaleFeatured Columnist IVDecember 31, 2016

Sometimes there aren't glitches in the computer.

This is one of those times.

Back in October, the SCHOENE system, a means of projecting wins developed by ESPN's Kevin Pelton (subscription required), predicted that the New York Knicks would win 37 games this season. 

Which was ridiculous. 

"Sometimes there's glitches in the computer," Carmelo Anthony told reporters in October, per ESPN New York's Matt Ehalt. "That's all I got to say." 

That's all a lot of people had to say.

A team that just won 54 games the season before was going to win 37? Get out of here with that modern-day, analytical-based bunkum. No way, no how would the Knicks win only 37 games.

The Knicks won only 37 games. 

Oops.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15:  Mike Woodson of the New York Knicks handles bench duties during the game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center on April 15, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and a
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Plenty of people—including myself—mocked the projection. New York didn't figure to be as good as they were in 2012-13, but you had a better chance of falling victim to an elaborate Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Penn and Teller than the Knicks did of winning only 37 games.

I repeat: The Knicks won only 37 games.

Worry not, though. You, me and Anthony weren't the only ones who were skeptical and ignorant and improperly weighed the negative impact trading a first-rounder for a player nobody in the NBA wanted (Andrea Bargnani) would have. Mike Woodson was right there with us.

From 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.

Try as Woodson and the Knicks might to avoid the wrath of thinking they didn't quite understand, they failed. The SCHOENE system did not. It was spot-on—for the Knicks, anyway.

By Pelton's calculations, the Milwaukee Bucks should have won 32 games. They nabbed only 15. 

The Phoenix Suns were also supposed to win between 17 and 18 games. They won 48.

(Related: LOL)

In many cases, the computer actually was wrong—just not for the Knicks. Now they're left to pick up the pieces of a 37-win season they didn't see coming.

TORONTO, CANADA - April 11: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks attempts a free throw against the Toronto Raptors on April 11, 2014 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by
Ron Turenne/Getty Images

Anthony will become a free agent this July, at which point he could leave. The Knicks also don't have any cap space or a first-round selection in this year's draft.

Transforming the roster into a contender won't be an overnight project for team president Phil Jackson. It's going to take some time. The team we see now could be the exact one the Knicks are fielding next season.

Strapped for cash and unlikely to make any offseason splash, the Knicks must hope that either SCHOENE's forecast is more forgiving next year, or they're somehow better equipped to prove it wrong.

 

*Salary information via ShamSports.


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