Last Thursday, the NBA G League season released the schedule for the 2017-18 season. There are many interesting tidbits in the schedule. The G League eliminated the four-game in five-day stretch strategy. The league also cut down on back-to-backs. The Westchester Knicks had eight back-to-backs last season, which was cut back to five this season.
With the growth of the NBA’s minor league, the conferences have been realigned. With four teams in the Atlantic Division, how often will the “Dub” Knicks face their division foes? How many expansions teams will Westchester take on? When are the Knicks’ two big road trips?
Let’s take a look at the Westchester Knicks’ schedule for the 2017-18 season and break it down.
On Nov. 4, Westchester will open the 2017-18 season on the road against the Windy City Bulls. Last year, Windy City was one of three new teams that entered the league. The Knicks failed to pick up a victory against the Bulls (0-4). They’ll have the opportunity to start a new trend and the odds are in their favor. In two seasons under head coach Mike Miller, the Dub Knicks have gone 6-1 in the first seven games.
With the growth of the NBA G League, new teams have been joining the league since 2014. This year, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, Erie BayHawks, Memphis Hustle and Wisconsin Herd are entering the league as expansion teams.
Despite two new teams in each conference, the Knicks won’t face the Clippers or Hustle. Westchester will play Wisconsin and Erie three times each, however. The Herd will visit Westchester County Center on Dec. 23. Westchester will travel to Oshkosh, WI for their final two meetings in March.
The first meeting between Westchester and the BayHawks won’t happen until the second half of the season. The first outing between the two teams will take place on Jan. 27, 2018 in Westchester, while the final game of the regular season will at home against Erie. The Dub Knicks will travel to the Erie Insurance Arena on Mar. 13.
From Jan. 10-13, the NBAGL will host the NBA G League Showcase with the Raptors 905 hosting the event. The opponents will be announced at a later date. With all twenty-six teams stopping in Mississauga for the event, there’s a possibly the Knicks could face one or two Western Conference teams. During the 2014-15 and 2015-16 season, the team faced the Reno Bighorns (twice), Oklahoma City Blue and Texas Legends, respectively.
Last season, each conference had two divisions with either five or six teams in each division. With four teams in the Atlantic Division (Westchester, Long Island Nets, Raptors 905 and Maine Red Claws), the Knicks will face each team four times.
On Nov. 12, the Knicks welcome the 2017 NBA G League Champions, Raptors 905, into town. Both teams will play a home-and-home, as the Knicks travel to Canada two days later. Westchester’s first meeting with the Maine Red Claws takes place on Nov. 29 at 11 a.m., which looks like it could be School Day at the Westchester County Center. Last season, the Knicks set a new attendance record on School Day.
The first Battle of the ‘Burbs takes place on Dec. 29 at Nassau Coliseum. With the Long Island Nets entering their second year in the G League, it should be interesting to see if a Knicks-Nets rivalry can trickle down to the NBAGL.
Other Notable Mentions
Westchester will have two major road trips during the season. From December 10-16, the Knicks head west for a week. The team will begin their four-game road trip against the Northern Arizona Suns, then head to Nevada to take on the Reno Bighorns. The minor league club will close out their road trip in California, when the team takes on the South Bay Lakers and Santa Cruz Warriors.
During that final stretch of the season, Westchester stays close to home as they face four teams in eleven days. Over that duration, the Knicks take on the Wisconsin Herd (twice), Erie BayHawks, Windy City Bulls and Grand Rapids Drive.