Hosting the 76ers on Christmas, the Knicks will have 21 of their first 33 games at home this season.
Stan Van Gundy, whose Pistons beat New York on Friday in Detroit, sure took notice.
Van Gundy, via Marc Berman of the New York Post:
“Twenty at home and 11 on the road,’’ Van Gundy, the brother of former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, said before the game. “A cynical person — which I’m not — would say the league tried to help them and build some confidence at the beginning of the year by giving them a lot of home games and giving them a chance to get going. and pick up some confidence. That’s what a cynical person would say. Not me. It’s just by chance they got so many home games early on.”
Asked if the Knicks look like a different club on the road, Van Gundy quipped, “I don’t know. I haven’t seen them on the road much.”
According to industry sources, the major factor in the Knicks’ home-heavy early schedule is a combination of the Garden hosting the Grammys in January and the Big Ten tournament for the first time ever in early March.
Several teams – most recently the 2015-16 Heat – have opened with at least 21 home games in their first 33 games of a season. This is not out of the ordinary.
The Knicks are surprisingly in the playoff hunt. But they probably haven’t built enough confidence to overcome playing 29 of their final 49 games on the road.
As long as every team plays 41 home games and 41 road games, it all evens out. I’m not convinced any realistic sequence is particularly advantageous or disadvantageous, no matter what conspiracy-theorist coaches might suggest.