The New York Knicks embark on toughest stretch of the season so far

We knew the New York Knicks schedule coming into the season and we had hoped there would be a few extra wins at this point in the year.

After a hot start to the season against a relatively easy schedule, New York is in the thick of it with upcoming games against some of the league’s best teams.

New York finds itself smack in the middle of a deep and competitive Eastern Conference. As it stands right now, New York is tied for 8th.

New York Knicks: Upcoming schedule is a big test

It started on Friday against the hottest team in the NBA the Phoenix Suns. New York came into the game as underdogs at home and it was clear — they’re not close to being in the same tier as the Phoenix Suns.

Now, they go up against some Eastern Conference opponents who are jostling with them in the standings.

They get the Atlanta Hawks tonight, who might be only half a game better in the standings but that doesn’t tell the full story. Atlanta is also one of the hottest teams in the NBA — they have the best offensive rating in the entire league over their last 15 games. 

Atlanta Hawks-New York Knicks games will have some extra heat this season after ATL bounced the Knicks in the playoffs last season and this one will be no exception.

After Atlanta, New York takes on #1 and #2 teams in the East, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Chicago Bulls.

Hypothetically, if the Knicks lost these three games, it may not seem like much of a big deal. They simply lost four straight games to better teams — but that sentiment is getting old.

I get it. It’s early in the season. The New York Knicks only started to really figure it out in January of last season.

This year is a little different. Just take a look at the Eastern Conference landscape. Who got worse? Maybe the Celtics?

Who got better? The Heat, Bulls, Wizards, Hornets, Raptors, Pacers, that’s without even mentioning the Nets, 76ers, and Bucks. There is much less margin for error this season.

The bar needs to be higher right now because that was the preseason expectation. This team would be an improved playoff team, not a play-in team. They had their easy stretch of schedule already.

The era of silver linings about “almost wins” needs to come to an end soon, because IF the Knicks want to run with the rest of the East, they’re going to need some wins against the league’s best teams. Let’s see if they can get it started tonight.