As we covered in Friday night’s Knicks/Wiz 5 things post, the real test for the Knicks begins today against the Nuggets at The Garden. Think the Knicks are for real? Tired of all the naysayers putting a damper on the greatest three weeks this franchise has had in over a decade by using the old “well, they haven’t played anyone yet” line? That will all either go away or become stronger over the rest f December.
It is as brutal a schedule can be in the NBA. One “bad” team in nearly three weeks. While the Knicks can absolutely recover from a bad 8 game stretch in December, it certainly will quell the notion that they can be anything more then a six seed. What’s more interesting, however, is this – what if it goes well (5 wins or better)? Then where do you put this team? Top 3 in the east? Dare we say it…. Here’s a quick look at the remaining December opponents.
Denver Nuggets: 14 – 8
Head to head: Denver leads 1 -0, after 120 – 118 win on November 16
Hot or not: Hot (?), 3 -2 in last five BUT 8 -2 in last 10
Impressive win: November 11 – 118 – 112 win over Lakers
Not – so impressive loss: December 7 – 100 – 98 to the Bobcats
Boston Celtics: 18 – 4
Head to head: 1 -0 after 105 – 101 win over Knicks on October 29th
Hot or Not: Hot – Well, they’ve lost 4 times….oh, and they’ve won 10 straight
Impressive Win: 112 – 107 @ Miami on November 7th
Not – so impressive loss: 102 – 101 to Toronto on November 21st, also the last time the lost.
*Side Note: Boston needed a last second shot to beat Philadelphia on Thursday.
Miami Heat: 16 -8
Head to head: Haven’t played
Hot or not: Hot, winners of 8 straight (who says that Cavs win wouldn’t be a major turning point. In fact, I think it’s looked back as THE turning point of 2010 – 2011)
Impressive Win: 118 – 90 over Cavs - See parentheses above
Not – so – impressive loss: 93 – 77 vs Indiana on November 22.
Cleveland Cavaliers – 7-15
Head to head: haven’t played yet
Hot or not: Ice cold, lost 7 straight and 8 of 9
Impressive win: October 27th vs Boston – 95 – 87 (season opener)
Not – so – impressive loss: 129 – 95 to Minnesota on December 4th…yuck.
Oklahoma City Thunder: 16 – 8
Head to head: Haven’t played yet
Hot or not: Hot (?) – 3 – 2 in last 5
Impressive win: 89 – 84 over Boston on November 19th
Not – so – impressive loss: 111 – 99 to Toronto on December 3rd (to be fair, Kevin Durrant didn’t play… but Toronto is awful)
Chicago Bulls: 13 – 8
Head to head: 0 – 1, Knicks won 120 – 112 in Chicago on November 4th…and it wasn’t that close
Hot or not: Hot, won last 5
Impressive Win: 88 – 84 over Lakers on December 10th
Not – so- impressive loss: the Knicks loss…They were blown out in that game, at home.
Orlando Magic : 15 – 8
Head to head: Haven’t played yet, due to asbestos in MSG
Hot or not: Not, have lost last four
Impressive win: 104 – 95 vs Heat on November 24th
Not – so- Impressive loss: 110- 106 to Toronto on November 12th….am I missing something? Isn’t Toronto awful?
Knick prediction over next 8: 4-4
They’ll beat Denver, Cleveland, and Chicago and sneak out one more.
About the Author
Written by Jordan Lauterbach
Jordan Lauterbach began his career in sports media when he was just 15 years old at WKWZ - Syosset. He hosted a sports talk show for nearly four years before moving on to WCWP - Brookville in 2006. Lauterbach currently hosts a sports talk show every Wednesday night from 9pm - midnight (eastern) and a College Football talk show on Saturday mornings from 11am - 12:30 (eastern) (can be heard online at wcwpsports.com and on Long Island on 88.1fm). Follow me on twiiter: jlauterbach1