ESPN picks Knicks to finish 5th in East

ESPN asked 215 people who contribute to the network's NBA coverage to predict the records for Eastern Conference teams in 2013-14.

The outlook for the Knicks? ESPN's panel believes New York will take a step back this coming season.

The panel predicted that the Knicks will win 48 games -- six fewer than last year -- and will finish fifth in the conference.

New York finished second in the East last season and won the Atlantic Division title for the first time since 1994. The Knicks also won a first-round playoff series for the first time since 2000.

The prediction doesn't necessarily reflect a belief that the Knicks have gotten worse. The team may well have improved this summer by adding Andrea Bargnani, Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih.

But teams such as Chicago (Derrick Rose), Indiana (Luis Scola) and Brooklyn (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce) will welcome new faces next season that may push them ahead of the Knicks.

For the full list of predictions, click here.

QUESTION: Do you agree with the prediction that the Knicks will finish fifth in the East? If not, is it too high or too low?

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