New York Knicks: NBA Schedule 2011

Easy start, but tough stretches for Knicks

December, 7, 2011
12/07/11
7:00
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Seven of the Knicks' first nine games feature opponents who finished at least 10 games below .500 last year.

Five of those games are on the road, including a three-game Western trip.

Winning on the road in the NBA is never a given. But, given the caliber of opponent, the Knicks should get off to a better start than they did last year, when they fell into a 3-8 hole.

THREE IN A ROW: The Knicks play the dreaded back-to-back-to-back just once this season. The three-game set features home dates against Chicago and New Jersey sandwiched around a road game against the Celtics.

FOUR IN FIVE NIGHTS: Mike D'Antoni's crew plays four four-game-in-five-night sets. Last year, they played two such stretches. And that was in 82 games.

The Knicks' first four-in-five this year is on the road (vs. Charlotte, Cleveland, Miami and Houston).

The second is their back-to-back-to-back (Feb. 2-4), followed by a home game against Utah on Feb. 6.

The third, and possibly the toughest, starts on Feb. 19 against Dallas and finishes in Miami on Feb. 23. In between, the Knicks host the Nets and Hawks.

The fourth (March 20-24) features two games against Toronto, one at Philadelphia and one at home against Detroit.

WEST COAST: The Knicks have just one West Coast trip. They're in Golden State on Dec. 28 and play the Lakers at Staples Center on Dec. 29. They finish the trip at Sacramento on New Year's Eve.... They will play 27 games on national television, including ten on ESPN and four on ABC.


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Is Knicks' schedule top-heavy?

December, 6, 2011
12/06/11
9:55
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The Knicks play six games against teams that finished in the top four in the Western Conference in 2010-2011. They play 14 games against teams that finished in the top four in the Eastern Conference.

So that means 30% of their games are against teams that finished in the top four in their respective conferences.

Overall, 34 of the Knicks' 66 games are against teams that made the playoffs last season.

Certainly, last season's record isn't an accurate indicator of a team's future success. But it certainly gives you an idea of what the Knicks are in for this year.

WESTERN BOUND: The Knicks play 18 games against Western Conference foes this season, down from 30 in a normal schedule.

They face each team once and play the Lakers, Mavericks and Kings twice. Both the Lakers and Mavericks finished the regular season with 57 wins. The Mavericks won the NBA title. The schedule makers didn't do the Knicks any favors there.

UNBALANCED ATLANTIC: The Knicks have an unbalanced division schedule. They play four against Boston and Toronto and three against Philly (two home) and New Jersey (two home).... They get Central-winning Chicago four times (a maximum total. They get a break against Miami, Orlando and Atlanta, playing each team three times.

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Rapid Reaction: Knicks' 2011-12 schedule

December, 6, 2011
12/06/11
7:17
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Knicks' schedule

OPENING DAY OPPONENT: The New York Knicks will face the Boston Celtics at noon on Christmas Day to tip off the shortened 66-game season.

Boston swept New York in the first round of the playoffs last year, beating the Knicks by an average of 14 points in the two playoff games at the Garden.

Can the Mike D'Antoni's club make things more competitive in the season opener? This game will be a good early measuring stick for Knicks team expecting to contend in the Eastern Conference.

MUST-SEE MATCHUPS

Knicks vs. Magic, Jan. 16: There's no guarantee that Dwight Howard will be with the Orlando Magic by the time they come to town. But if he is, the free-agent-to-be will have plenty of support among Knicks fans who covet his services. Should make for an interesting atmosphere. Barring a trade, Howard will be back in town March 28.

Knicks vs. Nuggets, Jan. 21: Carmelo Anthony doesn't get the chance to go back to Denver, but ex-Knicks Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and (maybe) Wilson Chandler come back to the Garden. All three were dealt in the Anthony trade in February. Chandler is currently playing in China and might be prohibited from returning to the NBA until later in the season.

Knicks vs. Lakers, Feb. 10: Not all Western Conference teams will come to New York, but Kobe Bryant & Co. will visit on this date. Reports state that the Los Angeles Lakers are in the market for Howard and Chris Paul, so the Lake Show may bring even more star power than usual.

Knicks vs. Hornets, Feb. 17: Will Paul still be a New Orleans Hornet on this date? Or will he be playing for the Knicks -- or somebody else? Rumors about Paul's departure from the Hornets have been swirling for weeks. New York is reportedly his preferred destination, but there are plenty of suitors.

Knicks vs. Heat, April 15: LeBron James says he doesn't want to play the "villain" role anymore, but he won't be able to avoid it on this night. James will be making his third trip to the Garden since spurning the Knicks [and others] to form a big three with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. This matchup is Game No. 60 of the season, so it could have serious playoff implications. The Knicks travel to Miami on Jan. 27 and Feb. 23.

OTHERS: Aside from the opener, the Knicks play the Celtics in Boston on Feb. 3 and March 4 and host them on April 17. These teams always seem to play at least one classic each regular season. ... MVP Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls come to town on Feb. 2 and April 8. The Knicks travel to Chicago on March 12 and April 10. ... The Knicks host the New Jersey Nets on Feb. 4 and Feb. 20 and travel to Newark on April 18. ... New Jersey native and No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving brings his Cavs to the Garden on Feb. 29 and March 31. ... Bronx native Charlotte first-round pick Kemba Walker makes his Garden debut -- as an NBA player -- on Jan. 4.

TOUGHEST STRETCH: The Knicks play on three consecutive nights from Feb. 2-4. They open the back-to-back-to-back with a home game against Rose and the Bulls. They head to Boston the next night and then host the Nets. In all, they play five games in seven nights during that stretch.

The Knicks also have four four-game-in-five-night stretches and travel to Boston, Dallas and San Antonio from March 4 to March 7.

EASIEST STRETCH: The Knicks have a soft stretch from Feb. 11 to Feb. 18. On Feb. 11 -- the day after they host the Lakers -- the Knicks travel to Minnesota. After two days off, they play in Toronto. They come home to face Sacramento the next night. After a day off, they then host New Orleans, followed by another day off. The travel may pose a problem in this stretch, but the opponents should not.

WHO'S MISSING: The Knicks will play 48 games against conference opponents and 18 against the Western Conference, so some teams won't be making the trip to MSG. The Knicks won't have the opportunity to welcome Brooklyn native and former St. John's standout Mark Jackson back to the NBA. Jackson is in his first season coaching the Warriors, who don't come to the Garden this season. Also, Kevin Durant and the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder won't be coming to town. Lastly, the Knicks will not play all Atlantic Division foes four times due to the shortened schedule.

BASKETBALL NEVER STOPS: With 66 games spread over four months, this schedule will be a grind for the Knicks (and everyone else). Teams will average 3.9 games/week, up from usual 3.5 games/week, which works out to about two extra games per month.

In addition, the Knicks will play 21 back-to-backs this season. They played 21 back-to-backs last season. But those were, of course, spread out over 82 games.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2