New York Knicks: Evaluating remaining schedule for 2018-19

New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale during the NBA London Game 2019 at the O2 Arena, London. (Photo by Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images)
New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale during the NBA London Game 2019 at the O2 Arena, London. (Photo by Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks have 24 games to play on the 2018-19 schedule. Who lies ahead over the next seven weeks?

Once the All-Star break ends on Friday, the New York Knicks will have 24 games left to play. At 11-47, they will not make the postseason, so these matchups are more for player development than anything.

For now, they have the NBA’s second-worst record by a half game, since the Phoenix Suns have 48 losses. Teams like these two, the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls will all “compete” for these lowest spots in the draft lottery.

There are still the players left to compete and potentially win games for the Knicks. What’s left on the schedule, though?

  • Minnesota Timberwolves (Home): Friday, Feb. 22
  • San Antonio Spurs (Home): Sunday, Feb. 24
  • Orlando Magic (Home): Tuesday, Feb. 26
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (Home): Thursday, Feb. 28

This is a lighter part of the Knicks’ remaining schedule, all of which will happen at home. The Cavaliers, Magic and Timberwolves all do not sit in the top eight of their respective teams; at least one win could result from that trio. The Spurs are the outlier with a 33-26 record and seventh place in the Western Conference.

  • Los Angeles Clippers (Away): Sunday, Mar. 3
  • Sacramento Kings (Away): Monday, Mar. 4
  • Phoenix Suns (Away): Wednesday, Mar. 6
  • Sacramento Kings (Home): Saturday, Mar. 9

A Western Conference road trip will take New York to Los Angeles, Sacramento and Phoenix within 72 hours. The Clippers and Kings have played well, while the Suns contest the Knicks for the lottery’s highest odds. That could be the difference-maker towards May’s process, when the announcement of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft arrives.

  • Minnesota Timberwolves (Away): Sunday, Mar. 10
  • Indiana Pacers (Away): Tuesday, Mar. 12
  • San Antonio Spurs (Away): Friday, Mar. 15
  • Los Angeles Lakers (Home): Sunday, Mar. 17

The next four-game stretch presents a greater difficulty, including a trip to the AT&T Center, where the Spurs are 22-7. Plus, LeBron James will wear a Lakers jersey at Madison Square Garden, which should draw at least a few eyes.

  • Toronto Raptors (Away): Monday, Mar. 18
  • Utah Jazz (Home): Wednesday, Mar. 20
  • Denver Nuggets (Home): Friday, Mar. 22
  • Los Angeles Clippers (Home): Sunday, Mar. 24

Perhaps the most rigorous four games, the Knicks will face an Eastern Conference contender, two of the West’s best teams and another squad that’s playing well without Tobias Harris. A 0-4 record seems probable from Mar. 18 to 24.

  • Toronto Raptors (Home): Thursday, Mar. 28
  • Miami Heat (Home): Saturday, Mar. 30
  • Chicago Bulls (Home): Monday, Apr. 1
  • Orlando Magic (Away): Wednesday, Apr. 3

The Knicks will have one more date with the Raptors, before matchups against three potential non-playoff teams. Wins are possible against the Bulls and Magic, although losses have resulted against both this season.

  • Houston Rockets (Away): Friday, Apr. 5
  • Washington Wizards (Home): Sunday, Apr. 7
  • Chicago Bulls (Away): Tuesday, Apr. 9
  • Detroit Pistons (Home): Wednesday, Apr. 10

The Knicks’ final stretch has them against James Harden, who had a season-high 61 points in the previous matchup versus Houston. Otherwise, these are non-playoff opponents, but with struggles against the Pistons and Wizards this season, is this another 1-3 or 0-4 stretch to close the year?

Generally, the schedule also breaks down like this:

  • 0 games against Brooklyn, Boston, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia
  • 4 back-to-backs
  • 4 multi-day breaks between games
  • 4 games against teams with bottom-five records
  • 11 games against playoff teams
  • 14 home games

Next. 2019 NBA Mock Draft, All-Star break edition. dark

The New York Knicks will kick off this final quarter of a season on Friday, Feb. 22, with a matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7:30 p.m. ET.