I can see the season going along a similar pattern as the post-Carmelo stretch last season, i.e. we start slowly struggling with chemistry and with no solid PG but then we come home strong and finish 36-30.
I must remind you that schedule gets significantly tougher in the second half of the season.
Look at how many games we need to play against tough teams:
Bulls,Pacers,Hawks - 3 games
Celtics,Heat,Sixers,Magic - 2 games
Mavs,Spurs,Clippers,Blazers - 1 game
That's 21 pretty tough games.
12 games are slightly easier but with how the Knicks play against weaker opponents no game is easy.
In those 12 games we are facing the
Bucks,Cavs - 3 times
Raptors - 2 times
Bobcats,Nets,Wizards,Pistons - 1 time
I say we'll finish 34-32.
That would probably be enough for the 7th or 8th seed.
I want us to climb to at least 6th seed so we can avoid both the Bulls and Heat but it will be tough with that schedule in front of us.
Getting into the playoffs while avoiding the Heat and Bulls is what matters. I think one issue Melo and Amar'e are having - effort on defense - will go away. And then it's a different animal. Lin needs to get better though.