2013-14 Season Preview – New York Knicks vs. The Southwest Division

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Since staring at the schedule isn’t making the 2013-14 season get any closer, TOK is going to break down the New York Knicks games by division over the next couple weeks. We start with the Southwest Division.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS

Last Year: Knicks won season series 2-0

This Year: Home – November 10th, @San Antonio – January 2nd

What To Expect: The Spurs go about their business quietly, but they are competitors and no doubt will be looking for revenge after being swept by the Knicks last season. You have to figure that they will take at least one of these games, but New York creates tons of matchup problems and with certain lineups can draw Tim Duncan out of the paint with their perimeter shooting in the frontcourt. The Knicks should be successful against the Spurs this season, even if it doesn’t translate in to two wins. That is, unless Gregg Popovich randomly benches half the roster or leaves them in San Antonio.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

Last Year: Split season series 1-1

This Year: Home – December 21st, @Memphis – February 18th

What To Expect: I’m still a little bit baffled by the Rudy Gay trade, but nonetheless, the Grizzlies are still a formidable, win-now team. Their run to the Western Conference Finals was more of a testament to what Russell Westbrook brings to the Thunder, but their frontcourt can hang with anybody in the league. This is where Mike Woodson’s small ball hurts the Knicks. How can you expect Melo to guard guys like Zach Randolph? I know that on the flip side, Z-Bo has a zero percent chance of effectively guarding Melo, but defense is what wins in the long run. If the Knicks play enough of it, there’s no reason why they can’t beat Memphis.

HOUSTON ROCKETS

Last Year: Houston won season series 2-0

This Year: Home – November 14th, @Houston – January 3rd

What To Expect: Despite all of the rivalries the Knicks have around the league, this is the team I think they want to put a serious licking on. To say that the Knicks were embarrassed by the Rockets last season would be an understatement, however, this is a much different looking Houston squad. They will be tough to defend, but Tyson Chandler plays Dwight Howard about as well as anyone in the league, so a win is certainly ascertainable, especially at home.

DALLAS MAVERICKS

Last Year: Split season series 1-1

This Year: @Dallas – January 5th, Home – February 24th

What To Expect: Monta Ellis has always harrassed the Knicks (and most other NBA teams for that matter), and now that he’s paired up with Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs should be considered one of the better offensive teams in the league. Last season was one of the more forgettable ones for Dallas under Mark Cuban’s regime, but they should be able to bounce back nicely. Considering the Knicks split with them last year, another one should be in order.

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS

Last Year: Knicks won season series 2-0

This Year: Home – December 1st, @New Orleans – February 19th

What To Expect: All the upgrades New Orleans has made to their roster this offseason has been overshadowed by the constant bickering about their new team name. The NBA is a guards league, and the Pelicans did a great job of building a young, talented backcourt. These two games are far from the pushovers they were last season, so expect a battle as the Pelicans contend for a playoff spot. Yeah, I said it.

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