With much fan fare, the NBA has released it’s 2012-2013 schedule. The Knicks will have 32 of their 82 games broadcast on National TV (if you count NBA TV, which might not be available everywhere). For those of you not in the NY market and unable to get the NBA package (it’s worth it), you will still be able to see 40% of the games.
As already reported by several outlets earlier in the day, the Knicks will open the season and say hello to Brooklyn on November 1st on TNT. They will host the Heat the following night on Friday November 2nd on ESPN. Jeremy Lin will return to the Garden on Monday December 17th on NBA TV. The Christmas day game is against the Lakers.
I’m sort of surprised that the NBA didn’t schedule Lin’s return for Christmas. It would have made more sense to me if they switched some of the matchups so the Lakers play the Celtics, the Knicks play the Rockets, and the Nets play the Bulls. Considering no Christmas, I’m really surprised that the NBA would schedule Lin’s return to the Garden on a Monday, and not a Thursday, or better, a Friday with a whole day of ESPN promotions. The Monday Night Football game is Jets at Titans, so that shouldn’t do huge ratings, but any MNF game gets ratings the NBA wishes it could get. Seems like the NBA wanted this one buried a little.
Most of the games (not the dates) are set in the stone before the season starts. As an Eastern Conference team, the Knicks will play a home and home with each of the 15 Western Conference teams. They will play each other member of the Atlantic Division four times, leaving 36 games for the ten teams in the Central and Southeast. That means they will play six of those ten teams four times, and they will play the remaining four teams only three times each.
This year the Knicks have three games against the Bobcats, Hawks, Bucks, and Cavs. One less game against Charlotte is disappointing because they should easily win (lose) the race for worst record in the NBA for the second straight year. The Cavs are a likely lottery team and the Bucks are probably a 50/50 proposition to make the playoffs (although Milwaukee has given the Knicks real trouble in recent years so missing them might be real good). Even after the Joe Johnson trade, the Hawks should still make the playoffs with Al Horford playing a full season, Josh Smith motivated in a contract year, and the addition of the underrated Lou Williams. It would have been nice to have one less game against the Heat, Bulls, or Pacers, but things could have been worse because they get the Pistons, Wizards, and (Dwightless?) Magic four times.
Jason Kidd will make his return to Dallas on November 21st. The boo birds will be out for Felton’s return to Portland on March 14th. And, gone but not forgotten, Jared Jeffries returns to the Garden on New Year’s Day. That is assuming he isn’t released and makes his way back to the Knicks. Anyone else have any schedule observations?