The New York Knicks’ road to the 2024 NBA Playoffs will come with its challenges, but their strength of schedule could point to an uptick in wins as the franchise looks to capture home-court advantage out East.
Knicks have favorable strength of schedule this season
Positive residual sees 17 teams having a tougher road to the postseason than New York through 82 games.
Firstly, the Knicks will be challenged from opening night. They play nine of their first 15 games at home, but against seven playoff teams from a year prior — the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers twice, as well as the Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Clippers once.
In comparison, New York kicked off 2022 at 8-7 before finishing 39-28. Should they drop early matchups to some of the aforementioned powerhouses out East, there won’t be a reason to hit the panic button.
From Nov. 17 to Dec. 15, things get easier for the Knicks as they take on the rebuilding Washington Wizards, Utah Jazz Charlotte Hornets on two occasions. They’ll also see Toronto in a back-to-back.
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Ringing in the New Year
They’ll look to ride that momentum into the New Year with 12 of 14 games between Jan. 15 and Feb. 10 coming at home. In contrast, the Knicks went on a 14-4 tear after Josh Hart was acquired at the Feb. 4 trade deadline from the Portland Trail Blazers. With or without another splash in the trade market, the schedule ripens opportunity for the Knicks to build camaraderie and pile on wins leading up to the final stretch of the year.
Finishing the season on a high note
For their final 10 games, the Knicks can look forward to five matchups against sub .500 teams including three against the Chicago Bulls. This will help alleviate 11 of their final 17 games being on the road.
Fortunately, they do not have a road trip that lasts longer than five games with an otherwise balanced distribution of home and road appearances. They will play 15 back-to-backs but only two are home stands.
New York will look to build upon a 23-18 home record which was eighth in the East despite their No. 5 overall seed.