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Knicks 2019-20 Schedule: Top Games, Championship Odds and Record Predictions

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 12, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 10: R.J. Barrett #9 of the New York Knicks in action against the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2019 Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 10, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The 2019-20 New York Knicks' prospects entering this offseason were sky-high with the team connected to big-name free agents such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.  

However, New York couldn't land any of the league's top stars.

The Knicks did sign power forward Julius Randle, who is coming off registering a career high of 21.4 points per game for the New Orleans Pelicans. And New York also picked up some solid veterans, including Taj Gibson, Marcus Morris and Bobby Portis.

With the release of the 2019-20 schedule, we know when and where the new-look Knicks will be playing, so here's a rundown of their top games, championship odds and a record prediction.

       

2019-20 Details

Season Opener: at San Antonio Spurs (Oct. 23)

Championship Odds: 250-1 (Caesars)

Full Schedule: NBA.com

           

Top Matchups 

Home Opener: vs. Boston Celtics (Oct. 26)

All eyes will be on rookie and No. 3 overall draft pick RJ Barrett as he makes his Madison Square Garden debut.

The ex-Duke forward, who averaged 22.6 points per game during his lone Blue Devil season, brings along some further intrigue after a strong Las Vegas Summer League finish.

Over his last three Vegas contests, Barrett had 19.7 points on 43.2 percent shooting, 9.3 boards and 6.3 assists. It was an impressive result considering the rookie shot just 7-of-33 from the field in his first two games.

If Barrett showcases that late summer-league form into the regular season, then the Knicks could be a dark-horse playoff team.

Still, expectations for the Knicks are low, which should decrease the burden on the 19-year-old's shoulders as he navigates his NBA career.

The pressure won't be on him to carry the franchise or be a key cog in a championship contender right away, giving him more breathing room to develop, or as much as possible in New York.

           

Brooklyn Nets (First Home Game: Nov. 24)

The New York Knicks may be the Big Apple's most popular team, but the Brooklyn Nets are its best after coming off a 42-40 season that ended in the playoffs.

Now they added six-time All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and center DeAndre Jordan, with 10-time All-Star Kevin Durant set to return to the court in 2020-21 once he recovers from a ruptured Achilles tendon.

The Nets probably won't contend for an Eastern Conference title until Durant is back, but 50 wins and a top-four East finish is possible. And that's a bitter pill to swallow for the Knicks, who created cap space to land two max free agents only to see them head elsewhere.

The Knicks can get a measure of revenge on the Nets with some strong performances in head-to-head matchups, but we'll see if this intercity rivalry heats up after an eventful offseason.

         

New Orleans Pelicans (First Home Game: Jan. 10)

Two former Duke teammates and top-three draft picks will go at it as Barrett and the Knicks face off against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Williamson, the NCAA Division I men's basketball player of the year and No. 1 overall draft pick, posted 22.6 points on 68.0 percent shooting alongside 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. He and Barrett led the Blue Devils to a No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament and an Elite Eight appearance.

Now the two will face off twice during their rookie years. They already stepped on the same court as opponents during summer-league play, although Williamson only played 11 minutes after suffering a bruised left knee.

While the Knicks and Pels aren't expected to be title contenders, their two matchups will bring intrigue no matter their records given Williams' and Barrett's star power.

       

Prediction

The Knicks won't go 17-65 like last year thanks to the franchise's new additions, but the team is still in a state of flux.

The first- and second-year players are all developing, and there isn't an All-Star found out of the veterans brought into New York.

There's enough talent to avoid the NBA basement yet again, but asking for much more than 30 wins is likely too much.

It also doesn't help that the Knicks have to play four games apiece against their four Atlantic Division rivals (the Boston Celtics, Nets, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers). All of them finished with winning records last season.

In sum, don't expect the Knicks to fall to the NBA's basement again, but they'll be hard-pressed to make the playoffs.

Record Prediction: 29-53