So after ten games the Raps are 4-6, which puts them somewhere in between the more negative predictions and the more hopeful ones. (Given that the more hopeful ones barely had the Raps above .500 this is not great.)
Now, ten games is a small sample size. The Nets and the Knicks (both 3-5) probably will not be awful all season and seem to be working out their kinks. Philly (5-5) is already gradually returning to earth after an insane start. Washington (2-6) had an awful and none of their losses have been terrible except the Spurs, and the Spurs are one of the two best teams in the league.
This matters, because small sample size applies to the Raps as well: Rudy had a lengthy cold streak, so did DeMar, Amir's been playing sluggishly, etc. They all need time for us to figure out their "new norm." So I think we can all agree that after 20 games - a quarter of the season - we know what this team is, one way or the other.
So our next ten games are
@ Golden State
I think we definitely lose the games to Portland (quietly being one of the best teams in the league), San Antonio (not at all quiet about being one of the best teams in the league), Golden State (see San Antonio) and Miami (still Miami). All of those games are very, very hard wins for us and we shouldn't expect wins. That means in order to hit .500, we need to win all the other games in our next ten.
I don't think it's doable. I think we also lose the Phoenix game and one of the games against Brooklyn, Washington or Philly. That would give us a next-ten record of 4-6 and put us at 8-12 on the season. What do you think?