Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Knicks will get a look at Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets early in the 2019-2020 season.
New York travels to Brooklyn for the first time on Oct. 25 -- the second game of the season -- and hosts the Nets for the first time on Nov. 24.
Irving and Kevin Durant -- two of the Knicks' top targets in free agency -- signed with Brooklyn in July. So the Knicks-Nets rivalry will matter again this season after being mostly dormant for a few years.
Other games of note for New York in 2019-2020: the Knicks face Kristaps Porzingis and the Mavs for the first time on Nov. 8 in Dallas. The Mavericks play at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 14, which will be Porzingis' first game there since the Knicks traded him to Dallas last season.
New York opens the season in San Antonio on Oct. 23. After playing Brooklyn on the road on Oct. 25, the Knicks open their home schedule against Boston on Oct. 26. That's a rough first week for David Fizdale's club, which includes free agents Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Marcus Morris and a young core of rookie R.J. Barrett, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Allonzo Trier and others.
The Knicks and Nets also play in Brooklyn on Dec. 26, and conclude their four-game series on Jan. 26 at Madison Square Garden.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers will be in New York to face the Knicks at the Garden on Jan. 22. James' visits to the Garden are usually entertaining. Last season, James' Lakers lost to a struggling Knicks team in a game that ended with him getting rejected by Mario Hezonja.
Knicks fans will also have the chance to show a warm welcome that night to Davis, one of the top free agents in the class of 2020. Of course, Davis is likely to re-sign with Los Angeles, unless things go horribly wrong for the Lakers this season. But in the unlikely chance that Davis decides to leave Los Angeles next summer, it's worth noting that Davis' agent, Rich Paul, said on the record that he sees New York as an attractive destination.
Another January home game for the Knicks? On Jan. 10, they will host the New Orleans Pelicans and top overall pick Zion Williamson.
On New Year's Day, the Knicks host the Portland Trailblazers at the Garden. So Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Hezonja, who signed with Portland this summer, will be making their lone MSG visit.
Notably, New York does not play on Christmas Day this season, one of the marquee dates on the NBA calendar. It will be the first time the club isn't playing on the holiday since 2015. The Knicks play three times on national television and have 13 back-to-back sets this season, down from 15 last season.
This was a point of emphasis for the NBA. Instances of teams playing games on back-to-back days will be an all-time low for the fifth straight season, the league says. Teams will play an average of 12.4 back-to-backs in the 2019-20 season, down 36 percent since the 2014-15 season (19.3 per team) and a 7 percent reduction from last season (13.3 per team), per the league.
For the third season in a row, no team is scheduled to play a stretch with four games in five days.