Tom Thibodeau’s crew will play at Christmas

The NBA’s 2022-23 schedule is out and includes the Knicks opening on national television and inclusion in the Christmas Day celebrations.

As usual.

With a 37-45 record and 11th in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks were still tapped to start the season Oct. 19 in Memphis on ESPN.

The Knicks will appear 13 times on national television – ABC, ESPN and TNT – along with crosstown rivals the Nets.

RJ Barrett
RJ Barrett will make 13 national appearances with the Knicks this season and will face the Sixers on Christmas Day.
Jason scenes

Here are some more takeaways from their schedule:

manipulation problems

The Knicks’ overly brazen pursuit of point guard Jalen Brunson – whom they wrested freehand from the Mavericks on a four-year, $104 million contract – led to a tampering investigation by league offices.

A highlight in the schedule will now be Brunson’s return to Dallas on December 27th.

Speaking of brazen pursuit…

It’s crystal clear that the Knicks, armed with a bevy of first-round draft picks, have long coveted Utah’s top scorer Donovan Mitchell. And it’s no secret that the 25-year-old All-Star, who was born in Westchester County and played his AAU ball in town, would love to come home.

In fact, the secret is so poorly kept that the Jazz only have one national TV game all season, on November 15th on TNT. And it’s against the Knicks. Oh, and the Jazz is coming to the Garden on February 11th, two days after the close of trade.

The struggle between the communities

Let’s be fair, there are more than enough basketball fans in New York, just like there are enough football fans and baseball fans. But boasting means something, and the clashes against the nets are more fun when the games are competitive.

The Knicks have not beaten Brooklyn since 2020, losing the last seven straight, albeit all but one by single digits.

Their first meeting will be at the Barclays Center on ESPN on November 9th. But it’s the Jan. 28 return to Brooklyn that will be part of Rivals Week and will also be the only ABC appearance scheduled for both teams. The nationally televised triple header that day also includes the Lakers visiting the Celtics and the Nuggets’ MVP Nikola Jokic taking on reigning scoring champion Joel Embiid of the 76ers.

RJ Barrett, who struggled for the ball against Nic Claxton last season, and the Knicks will be looking for their first win over the Nets since 2020.
RJ Barrett, who struggled for the ball against Nic Claxton last season, and the Knicks will be looking for their first win over the Nets since 2020.
Jason scenes

holiday tradition

Presents, eggnog and the Knicks on TV.

As always, the Knicks will join the all-day Christmas list and welcome Philadelphia at 12 p.m. on ESPN. It will be the 55th time in franchise history that they will play on Christmas Day and the 10th time against the rival 76ers.

MLK Day matinee

For the 24th year in a row, the Knicks are playing on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They will host the Raptors on January 16 at 3:00 p.m. at the Garden.

Travel

The league average for back-to-backs is down to 13.3 after losing a whopping six games from 2014-15. The Knicks have a dozen back-to-backs on the schedule (four not including trips), and their longest trip will be five games in seven days Nov. 15-21.

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