ESPN recently unveiled their NBA Summer Forecast, which predicted what they expect to happen in the NBA next season. Along with that came a prediction for how the Eastern Conference would stack up.
Knicks starting point guard Raymond Felton couldn’t believe that ESPN’s 215-member forecast panel picked his team to finish fifth in the conference. According to ESPN New York:
“I’m like, ‘How can y’all even say this?'” Felton told ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday at an Under Armour event in New York City for his upcoming basketball sneaker. “We made changes and I feel like we got better, and we were the No. 2 team [last season]. We won over 50 games, we won our division, but y’all going to sit here and say that, ‘Just because Brooklyn made some changes, they’ll overpower us just like that, like we have no chance.’ Come on. You can put 10 guys on the court and all of them are All-Stars, but they got to work as a team, they still got to work together. I feel like sometimes that’s tough. You never know; you have different egos and personalities that you have to deal with on the court. Sometimes they don’t mix.”
Felton seems certain that his team should be taken more seriously in the Eastern Conference, and for good reason. They took the Atlantic Division last season by 5 games over the Brooklyn Nets. Felton averaged 14 PPG and a team high 5.5 APG.
Even though major sports media outlets like ESPN seem to be overlooking the Knicks, it isn’t discouraging Felton.
“The core of our team is still there, and we added some more pieces that make us better,” he said. “So I don’t understand why they’re not saying we’re better. I love it though. … It makes me hungry, it makes my teammates hungry to go out there and just try to win.”
At the end of the day, the fact of the matter is the game is played on the court. It doesn’t matter how good a team looks on paper and it
definitely doesn’t matter what a panel at ESPN thinks. It’s all about whether or not a team can live up to expectations on the court. Raymond Felton certainly believes that his team has all the skills to back it up, despite ESPN overlooking them.
What do you think?
Does Felton have a point?
Are the Knicks overlooked?
Can they win the Atlantic again over the new-look Brooklyn Nets?