Originally written on Knickswag  |  Last updated 11/18/14
By Max Marcilla The countdown is coming to an end, as the Knicks open their season at home against the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at 7:30. Before the NBA season tips off, I’ll leave Knick Nation with some questions about the team and my predictions. Will The Knicks Key Players Stay Healthy? Obviously, health is the key for any sport and any team, but when looking at the recent injury history of many players on the Knicks, health is a must. The Knicks have good news, as 14 of the 15 players on the roster could play opening night, with the lone acceptation being J.R. Smith, who is suspended for violating the league substance abuse policy. Last year, a big reason the Knicks were beat by the Indiana Pacers in the playoffs was because almost everyone was nursing injuries. Carmelo Anthony had an injured shoulder, J.R. Smith had a knee injury, Amar’e Stoudemire wasn’t himself once he came back from his injuries, and Tyson Chandler was “soft” and getting pushed around by Roy Hibbert due to a bad back and neck. With an injury prone roster, the Knicks have to stay healthy to compete with the other teams in the East. Can Carmelo Anthony Evolve His Game? We all know Melo is one of the best scorers in the game, but the problem is his defense. For a defensive minded coach in Mike Woodson, having a star that struggles on defense is tough. Carmelo Anthony can carry a team throughout the regular season, with wins like the game against the Hawks this year (106-104 with 42 points by Anthony). However, when it comes down to the playoffs, against the best teams like the Heat, Bulls or Pacers, Carmelo Anthony can’t carry a team by only playing offense. Can Coach Woodson Make Adjustments? Another problem the Knicks had last year was adjustments in the playoffs, especially in the Indiana series. The Knick fans were calling for Chris Copeland, and when he finally got on the court he made a huge impact, but it was too little too late. Now, with many new pieces to this Knicks team (Metta World Peace, Andrea Bargnani, Beno Udrih…) Coach Woodson should be able to put guys in when they are hot, or have a good match-up. He has to take advantage of that and utilize everyone on the team, and if he does, the Knicks could have one of the best bench units in the league. Predictions: Call me a homer all you want, but I am still not impressed with the Brooklyn Nets. Yes, of course they got better, but they are still missing some big pieces to a championship. They have a somewhat fragile point guard in Deron Williams, and if he goes down, who can step up? They also have a handful of injury prone vets in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who I’m not convinced they can go back to their All-Star days in 2008. I do think the Knicks depth can lead them to their second division title; however, the two teams will be close. I predict the Knicks record to be 55-27, one game better than they finished last year, because YES, I do think they got better. As for the conference rankings, I think the Knicks will drop a few spots due to improvements to nearly every team, but I do think they will finish 4th. My Eastern Conference Standings: 1. Bulls 2. Heat 3. Pacers 4. Knicks 5. Nets 6. Cavaliers 7. Detroit 8. Washington The post Knicks Season and Predictions: 13/14 appeared first on Knickswag.com.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet

Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

Niners OT Anthony Davis takes shot at offensive coordinator

Report: Josh Smith expected to sign with Rockets

Cullen Jenkins unhappy over his roughing the passer fine

Bochy: Peavy trade was best in-season move of 2014

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

WATCH: Bahamas Bowl ends on insane Hail Mary play

Mike Yeo slams Wild for not having 'winner's attitude'

Michigan St. QB, Ohio State TE have awkward Twitter exchange

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each NFL Week 17 game

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Ibaka, Aldridge ejected for scuffle

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Nick Young on Kobe-less win: He needs to pass

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.