Opening Tip: SCHOENE was spot on

Back in October, ESPN.com’s SCHOENE system predicted that the Knicks would go 37-45 this season.

Many fans questioned the project. So did this writer.

But it turns out the 37-win projection was accurate, probably even a little optimistic.

The Knicks currently sit at 33-45 with four games to play. They are in ninth place in the East, 1 1/2 games behind the Hawks.

New York, obviously, needs to finish 4-0 to get to SCHOENE’s 37-win projection. If they win their final four games, they’d need the Hawks to finish 2-3 in order to get in the postseason.

Whether or not they make the playoffs, it seems like the SCHOENE projections seems to have been spot on.

Below, we take a look at some the specifics behind the SCHOENE prediction to see how the system saw this coming.

SCHOENE, developed by ESPN.com’s Kevin Pelton, predicted that the Knicks’ offensive rating would plummet from 3rd to 20th this season.

The Knicks’ offense struggled at times with Andrea Bargnani on the floor earlier in the year.

But since Bargnani went down in late January, the team has coalesced on offense. The move to include Amar'e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith in the starting lineup also helped. Entering play Tuesday, the Knicks ranked 11th in offensive efficiency.

SCHOENE predicted that the Knicks would struggle on defense, finishing 20th in defensive efficiency. New York did its part to fulfill that projection. Entering play Tuesday, Mike Woodson's club ranked 24th in defensive efficiency.

That’s been one of the driving forces behind their struggles.

They've had a tough time defending the perimeter for much of the season. Point guards and shooting guards are outscoring their Knick counterparts on a per-game basis.

Bargnani, of course, didn’t help things on defense. The rest of the Knicks' interior defenders were inconsistent.

So give SCHOENE a ton of credit here for forecasting this.

That brings up our question for the day: Did you think SCHOENE was right in the preseason when it predicted 37 wins for the Knicks?

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What’s next: The Knicks will practice on Wednesday to prepare for Friday’s road game against the Raptors.

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