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John Hollinger predicts Knick mediocrity

1/4/2011

In New York, people have been unbelievably excited about the Knicks' triumphant return to halfway-decency.

But John Hollinger (Insider), in a discussion of the whole league (which includes noteworthy mocking of Wolves GM David Kahn), says to expect things to cool off a bit over the remainder of the season for the Knicks:

At 19-14 so far, the Bockers project to go just a game over .500 the rest of the way, largely because the schedule gets more difficult. New York has played the league's fourth-easiest schedule thus far, but that changes starting now. The Knicks' next five games in particular -- home versus San Antonio, at Phoenix, at Lakers, at Portland, at Utah -- make it likely they'll be dancing within a game or two of .500 for most of the season before an April stretch of patsies lets them close on a high note.

Additionally, I would submit the Knicks aren't as good as their current record for another reason -- they've outscored the opposition by only 0.9 points per game, which normally would leave a team just a game or so above .500 at this point in the season.

Margin of victory, it's worth noting, has the track record of being a better predictor of future success than won-loss record ... so ignore it at your peril.