The second half of the 2020-21 NBA schedule has been launched, which means we now know who, when and the place the Knicks will play for the following few months as they make their pleasantly stunning playoff push behind All-Star Julius Randle.
The revealing of the schedule for the second half serves as a reminder that we’re dwelling in bizarre occasions. Due to the pandemic, this season is just 72 video games lengthy. The Knicks are seventh place within the East at 15-17 heading into Thursday’s matchup in opposition to Sacramento, which means they’ve received 40 video games left to maintain a spot within the postseason.
Will they make the playoffs? How powerful is their schedule the remainder of the best way? Why is Tom Thibodeau so inflexible along with his rotations? Solutions to a few of these questions are contained within the schedule for the second half of the season.
The Knicks can be examined in March
Beginning March 11, the Knicks kick off the second half of the season with a tough 4 sport highway journey that features Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving (plus OKC). Maybe the Knicks will clobber the Bucks by 20 once more, beat the Thunder and sneak away at 2-2.
Then the Knicks have a 4 sport stretch at Madison Sq. Backyard that options winnable video games however isn’t going to be a cakewalk, with the Magic and Sixers coming to city, adopted by two video games in three nights in opposition to Bradley Beal, Russell Westbrook and the Washington Wizards.
March ends with one other sport in Milwaukee, a house sport in opposition to the Warmth, and a showdown with Karl-Anthony Cities in Minnesota. March sounds powerful. Hopefully the Knicks are nonetheless hanging in there at this level.
By the best way, the commerce deadline is March 25. So possibly that is the purpose within the season the place the Knicks have traded for some form of star to pair with Randle. Or possibly they’ll be slick and snag somebody who isn’t even on our radar. It actually looks like this entrance workplace needs to do one thing to shake up the roster, doesn’t it?
The Knicks may even be examined in April
April begins with 4 video games in six days, beginning with a return to the Backyard for Kristaps Porzingis, though whether or not he’ll be taking part in or not is however a coin flip proper now. Then New York hits the highway for video games in Detroit, Brooklyn and Boston. The subsequent few weeks embody ferocious fellas like Ja Morant, LeBron James and Zion Williamson, plus one other contest in opposition to Kristaps, this time in Dallas.
They do finish the month with six straight residence video games, all of which might be had if RJ Barrett has it going and Immanuel Quickley is lighting it up (Pelicans, Hornets, Hawks, Raptors, Suns, Bulls). However by this level who is aware of what their file can be? And maybe extra importantly, is Frank Ntilikina nonetheless on the squad?
The Knicks will as soon as once more be examined in Could
Could, like March, is available in like a lion. In contrast to the well-known phrase, nevertheless, it doesn’t exit like a lamb. A ludicrously lengthy six-game highway journey begins in Houston, and over the course of 10 days consists of stops in Denver and Phoenix, to not point out ending with bouts in Los Angeles in opposition to the Clippers and Lakers. The common season concludes with three video games at MSG, with the Knicks taking part in the Spurs, Hornets and Celtics.
Being reasonable, barring a loopy commerce, even in a finest case state of affairs, the Knicks will spend the whole second half of the season combating to remain within the playoff race. However they actually have a shot to make it. And who is aware of what may occur between now and the tip of Could? The Knicks may not be a triple-headed celebrity behemoth just like the Brooklyn Nets, however they’re within the hunt.
The Knicks can be on nationwide TV six occasions, all on ESPN. No love for the Knicks from the parents at TNT.
Based on Tankathon, the Knicks are proper in the midst of the pack in the case of power of schedule. The web site ranks their second half schedule 14th most tough within the NBA. Orlando and Chicago each have harder schedules, in accordance with Tankathon, however each different group within the East that the Knicks may compete with for a playoff spot has a neater schedule, per Tankathon. You recognize what? That’s about sufficient about Tankathon for one weblog submit.
The primary half of the season has featured a ton of pretty surprises, however the going solely will get harder going ahead. Nonetheless, the Knicks have proven they’re a group to be reckoned with this 12 months, and any given sport appears gettable if the correct gamers get scorching. As we await the second half of the season, let’s hope Randle spends the All-Star break speaking up the Knicks, and maybe recruiting an All-Star or two to affix him in New York. It’s fairly good right here when the Knicks are successful.