Instant Analysis: Knicks 2011-12 Schedule

Jonah Ballow



Opening Day/Home-Opener: SUN Dec. 25 vs. Celtics
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: MON Jan. 16 vs. Magic (13th straight year, 26th overall)
All-Star Weekend: Feb. 24-26 at Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Consecutive Home Games: 5 games (Feb. 15-22)
Consecutive Road Games: 4 games (Jan. 24-28, Mar. 4-9)

The Knicks play four-games-in-five-nights on five occasions & three-games-in-three-nights on one occasion. Nine games start before 6 p.m. locally

Games By Month
December: 4 (1H/3A)
January: 17 (9H/8A)
February: 15 (10H/5A)
March: 17 (8H/9A)
April.: 13 (5H/8A)

Games By Days of the Week
Sunday: 7 (5H/2A)
Monday: 7 (6H/1A)
Tuesday: 8 (3H/5A)
Wednesday: 16 (9H/7A)
Thursday: 6 (1H/5A)
Friday: 12 (5H/7A)
Saturday: 10 (4H/6A)

Back-To-Back Sets
Home/Away: 9
Away/Home: 4
Away/Away.: 6
Home/Home: 2
Totals: 21

Games On
0 Days of Rest: 21
1 Day of Rest: 34
2 Days of Rest: 8
3 Days of Rest: 1
4 Days of Rest: 0
5+ Days of Rest: 1

A perfect way to celebrate Christmas Day is with a rematch of last year’s first round playoff battle between the Knicks and Celtics. During the first two contests in Boston last April, New York fought hard down to the final seconds and gained some necessary postseason experience with the new cast of players. In Game 1 of the series, Amar’e Stoudemire posted 28 points and in Game 2 Carmelo Anthony was brilliant by dropping 26 of his game-high 42 points while Stoudemire suffered through back spasms. The newly transformed Madison Square Garden will be electric for the noon tipoff as this game has all the components for a classic Christmas finish.

Just three days after the Christmas showdown against the Celtics, New York hits the road for a three-game West Coast trip against the Warriors, Lakers, and Kings. Obviously, the Knicks will receive an early season test from the Lakers, who captured a title in two of the last three years. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum are looking to rebound from an unexpected second round sweep in the 2011 playoffs. As always, the Lake Show is intriguing, however, this year’s squad will be must-see, considering the absence of legendary coach Phil Jackson and the addition of the new head man, Mike Brown. For the Knicks, Anthony will face the Lakers at the Staples Center for the first time in a New York uniform. Stoudemire scored 23 points and grabbed 10 boards in last year’s January game against Los Angeles.

The Knicks begin January facing six straight Eastern Conference opponents before traveling to Memphis on January 12. The Grizzlies are fresh off an impressive run to the Western Conference Semifinals as a No. 8 seed. Watching two prolific offensive big men, Stoudemire and Zach Randolph go toe-to-toe in the paint should be a treat along with monitoring the rise of the upstart Grizzlies.

Two days following the game in Memphis, the Knicks will hit the floor against the young Thunder. The mix of a superstar in Kevin Durant and an explosive point guard in Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City is primed to make a run at the title and improve on its spectacular 55-27 2010-11 campaign. Without Anthony, the Knicks toppled the Thunder in New York last season 112-98. Six Knicks reached double figures and New York drilled 47.6 percent of its attempts from behind the arc.

Sprinkled in the busy month of January is a matchup against Orlando on the 12th at the Garden. On January 21, Anthony entertains his former squad as the Denver Nuggets march into New York City for a Saturday night contest. Considering this is the lone game for Anthony against the Nuggets, he should be primed for a big performance in his new building. New York narrowly defeated Denver 129-125 in last year’s high-scoring affair at Madison Square Garden.

A four-game road trip follows the Nuggets game with the Miami Heat scheduled for a Friday night showcase event. All eyes are focused on the Heat after LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and company fell short of an NBA title in June. Anthony will get his first opportunity to take down the Eastern Conference rival as part of the Knicks franchise. The perennial All-Star has always enjoyed big offensive games against his friend and foe, Mr. James. These two superstars are a TIVO type matchup in downtown Miami.

February starts with a bang as the Knicks host the Bulls on the 2nd. Chicago had a stellar 2010-11 season with a 62-50 overall record, an MVP year for point guard Derrick Rose, and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Knicks captured two of three victories against the Bulls last year and will search for the same success in this Thursday evening contest at the Garden.

New York travels to Boston on the 3rd, hosts the Lakers on the 10th, but a home game against the World Champs on February 19 should have fans breaking the red Sharpe to circle this event. The Mavericks were downright scary in last year’s playoff run to the title. Behind Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas proved all the detractors wrong with an efficient offense and an underrated defensive unit. The Knicks will hope to knock off the champs while gauging their roster against of the deepest teams in the entire league.

New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets. Ok, not quite yet but the Nets and Knicks game serves as a point of interest for fans in the New York area. Deron Williams is an elite point guard and Brook Lopez is a solid center to give the Nets potential moving forward. The Knicks will be licking their chops after sweeping the season series against the Nets last season.

Just as the weather heats up, the Knicks will face a tournament type run that mirrors March Madness. New York will travel to Boston, Dallas, and San Antonio in a murderous kick start to the month. Those three teams combined for 174 wins last year and they figure to be contenders in 2011-12. The Spurs are an interesting bunch after the team sprinted to the No. 1 seed before being upended by Memphis in the first round. San Antonio shook up its aging roster a bit by dealing George Hill to Indiana for rookie Kawhi Leonard on draft night. New York will have to contend with a veteran Spurs group and the addition of an athletic big man in Leonard. Of course, Manu Ginobili is a matchup nightmare and is capable of big offensive performances on any given night.

The Knicks welcome Portland on March 14, which sets up a great one-on-one duel between Stoudemire and LaMarcus Aldridge on the blocks. A deep power forward class in the West kept Aldridge out of the All-Star game but there is no doubt he belonged in the midseason event. The Blazers are a dangerous team as seen in the second half of last year and they still own an incredibly talented roster that features Gerald Wallace, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, Raymond Felton, and Brandon Roy.

New York concludes its March with games against Orlando on the 28th and at Atlanta on the 30th. The Magic will attempt to keep Dwight Howard in Orlando as he nears free agency next season. Howard is one of the premiere big men in the league and nearly captured an MVP trophy last year with 22.9 points, 14.1 rebounds, and 2.38 blocked shots per game. Orlando finished the season with 52 wins and only allowed 93.7 points per game as a top defensive team in the NBA.

With road games at Indiana and at Orlando to start April, the Knicks will be challenged in the last month of the season. New York also plays Chicago twice in three nights not to mention the final games against Miami and Boston during the final 11-game stretch of the year. One sleeper game to not on April 25 is a contest against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Garden. 2011 Dunk Champ Blake Griffin is worth the price of admission and just about a guarantee for at least one jaw-dropping dunk per night. The supporting cast of Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan, and Mo Williams make Los Angeles a potential rising team in the West.
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