it was a month of 16 games, with six back-to-backs and nine road games. If you throw in opening week, which was technically the last week of October, we're talking 19 games and seven back-to-backs, with 11 roadies.
That's quite a few games, kids, and it makes 10-9 look even sexier. The caveat, of course, is that the Knicks' early opponents weren't exactly elite. Of the 19 October and November games, only four were against opponents who currently have winning records. I think you can guess where this is going:
December offers a much looser schedule with more opportunity to rest -- 13 games in 27 days, two back-to-backs and seven home games -- but of the 11 opponents the Knicks will face in these 13 games, seven have winning records.
More chill time is just what the doctor ordered for guys like Amar'e Stoudemire, Ronny Turiaf, Toney Douglas, and Raymond Felton who have, to varying degrees, played through nagging injuries. On the flip side, a number of the Knicks' wins have felt a trifle too close for comfort. Their tendency to mail in entire quarters isn't going to cut it against the likes of Denver, Boston, and Miami (who, as Hahn mentions, comprise a mini "Hell Week" starting on the 12th). More rest should mean more practice and a more polished, focused product for each 48-minute performance. At least we hope so.