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What stretch of the New York Knicks 2013-2014 schedule are you most looking forward to?
Joe Caporoso - The Knicks have a difficult early season stretch which caught my eye. Starting on November 20th when they host the Indiana Pacers, followed by a sneaky tough four game road trip against Washington (a playoff caliber team this year), Portland (same thing), Lob City, and then finally in Denver, where they never play well. They then come home to host the improved New Orleans Pelicans and travel across the river to play the Brooklyn Nets for the first time of the season. The Knicks have a tricky start to their schedule and will be without JR Smith. They need to handle their business on the road during these seven games and hopefully get a statement win either against the Pacers or Nets, to hang their hats on early in the year.
Chris Celletti - In my earlier post about the Knicks’ schedule release, I mentioned the team’s bizarre 8-game home stand in late January. While I still have no real idea why that’s happening, it’s actually going to be a pretty interesting couple of weeks given who they’re hosting, in order: The Clippers, Nets, 76ers, Bobcats, Lakers, Celtics, Cavaliers and Heat. That’s both of Bill Simmons’ favorite teams!
Sure there are some duds in there, namely the 76ers and Bobcats. However, the Cavaliers figure to be a legitimate playoff contender this year and always seem to give the Knicks utter hell. Since Kobe Bryant is ahead of schedule in coming back from a torn Achilles (let’s not ask any questions, ok?), it’s not out of the question that he could actually play in the Lakers’ only trip to MSG. If Mike D’Antoni is still employed at the time, it will be fun to put another whooping on him. Of course the two highlights of the series are the games against the Nets and Heat, the latter of which comes on the Saturday of Super Bowl weekend, which of course takes place at nearby MetLife Stadium this season. Good luck to Mike Woodson keeping J.R. Smith home after that one.
Kevin Smith - In case you couldn’t tell from yesterday’s Throwback Thursday, I’m more than ready for some basketball. Your asking a guy who literally watched almost every Summer League game and frequently pops in a DVD of an NBA Hardwood Classic to pick out which games he is most looking forward to. This is impossible for me to answer, but there is one stretch that sticks out.
The Knicks fell apart on the West Coast at the end of last season, so I’ll have an eye on the late-March trip to Los Angeles (Lakers), Sacramento, Phoenix, Golden State, and Utah. Without Kurt Thomas to lead them to victory, will New York be able to even snag a win this time around?
In general though, I’m looking forward to it all. I’d be a fool not to mention the matchups against the Nets, which should be like a playoff game each time, and how will the Knicks fare against revamped teams such as the Cavs, Pistons, Rockets, Pelicans, and Mavs? If the Bulls can sweep the Knicks rather handily without Derrick Rose, will it be even worse when their superstar plays? Will Roy Hibbert be able to throw around Tyson Chandler in the regular season like he did in the playoffs? Is it October yet?
Aaron Jacobs – There is a stretch of games in the month of January that, in my opinion, will tell us a great deal about this New York Knicks team. From January 9th – January 20th, 2014, the Knicks will have a rough stretch of games beginning with the Miami Heat at MSG. Following that game they will play at the Philadelphia 76ers, be back at MSG to host the Phoenix Suns, then travel to the Charlotte Bobcats. After that the schedule gets brutal, including a back to back which will be at the Indiana Pacers, then a quick trip home to play the L.A. Clippers. This stretch ends with a home game three days later vs. the crosstown rival Brooklyn Nets.
By this time we will have seen enough Knicks games this season to gauge the team’s chances in the playoffs. If the Knicks can avoid the injury bug (big IF), they have a chance to surprise many of us. They have a brutal stretch in November, including a West Coast road trip, which the Knicks are infamous for playing poorly on, but this stretch in January will show us the true colors of the Knicks. We will also begin to see some playoff seeding and positioning, hopefully the Knicks will be in contention for one of those top spots in the East.
Chris DiGioia - The NBA season is right around the corner, and I couldn’t be any more excited about it. At this point, it is impossible to pinpoint a stretch of the NBA season I’m looking forward to the most. But, as for the importance of a certain stretch?
On January 16, 2014, the Knicks will begin a eight game home stand that will include many of the NBA’s marquee teams. The stretch will end on February 1, but it kicks off with the Los Angeles Clippers, followed by the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, and finally, the Miami Heat.
As any Knicks fan can see, there are quite a few intriguing match-ups during this stretch, and plenty will be revealed about the character of our team. Obviously the Hornets and Sixers were sandwiched in the mix of these, I’ll be looking forward to the Lakers game the most. The rest is pretty self explanatory: Lob City, Brooklyn’s new look squad led Knick Jason Kidd, the two-time defending champions, and rising star Kyrie Irving, all paying a visit to the Mecca of basketball…lord knows what could go down.