Walker, Fournier face Celtics in season opener; Knicks-Hawks rematch on Christmas

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett
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Newly acquired Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier will start their New York Knicks career facing their old team.

The Knicks will host the Boston Celtics at the Garden on October 20 as part of the NBA’s Opening Week. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN at 7:30 pm ET.

Walker played for two seasons with the Celtics before he was shipped to Oklahoma City Thunder for Al Horford. Walker completed a buyout with the Thunder and joined his hometown team, Knicks, on a $18 million, two-year deal.



Fournier, on the other hand, arrived in New York via a sign-and-trade agreement with the Celtics. He was Celtics’ trade-deadline acquisition who was eyed to be the team’s third scoring option behind Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown when Walker was shipped out.

But Fournier and the Celtics couldn not agree to a new deal and the Knicks landed him on a $78 million, four-year deal with the last year as team option.

Walker and Fournier are expected to start for the Knicks replacing the ineffective Elfrid Payton, who signed with Phoenix, and 3-and-D forward Reggie Bullock, who went to Dallas.

The Knicks’ rise to relevance have earned them a Christmas playdate against emerging rival Atlanta Hawks.

The Knicks will host the Hawks at the Garden 12 noon to be aired over ESPN.

The Hawks, led by Trae Young, beat the Knicks, 4-1, in the first round of the playoffs last season.

With a retooled starting lineup, the Knicks are hoping to improve on their fourth seed finish and first round exit.

It will be the Knicks’ first Christmas game since 2018 when they lost to Milwaukee Bucks, 109-95. The Knicks are 22-31 on the holiday games.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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