Ron Baker
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

With the New York Knicks schedule now fully released, here are five first half games to circle on your calendar.

While the start of the NBA regular season is still two months away, New York fans now, at the very least, know who their team will be playing on what particular night. With the entire 82-game schedule now fully out to the public, Knicks fans and fans around the world can begin to purchase tickets for precise games.

But despite fans wanting to know the schedule for their respective teams, the reality is there are a plethora of games that they could do without. So to make matters easy, here are the five first half games to circle on your calendar for the 2017-18 Knickerbockers.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 26: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center on October 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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. The Thunder defeated the 76ers 103-97. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

5) Dec. 25 vs Philadelphia 76ers

Spend your Christmas Day with the gift that keeps on giving — the New York Knicks.

In their eighth appearance on Christmas Day in nine years, the Knicks will take on the rival Philadelphia 76ers in what’ll be their first meeting of the year.

This 76ers team is full of optimism going into this year based on the plethora of youth they have present. With the addition of number one draft draftee, Markelle Fultz, as well as veteran shooting guard, J.J Redick, the 76ers have brought in some intriguing pieces to an upward trending unit.

With big men Joel Embiid and Dario Saric heading into their sophomore year and Ben Simmons, the top overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft who missed all of last season finally healthy enough to make his mark in the league, the 76ers have a very promising unit. This Sixers team will be a good test to assess just how far the Knicks youth movement has come along.

Tipoff is at 12 p.m. ET and will be aired on ESPN.

CLEVELAND, OH – APRIL 17: Andre Drummond #0 celebrates with Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons during the second half of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pistons 106-101. 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 Jason Miller/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***Andre Drummond; Reggie Jackson

4) Oct. 21 vs Detroit Pistons 

In what’ll be their second game of the regular season—their first at Madison Square Garden—the Knicks will host the Detroit Pistons on October 21st.

Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Ramon Sessions, Michael Beasley and Damyean Dotson will all make their MSG debuts.

New York Knicks

Reggie Jackson, Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris and the Pistons will be looking to show that last year was not indicative of the type of team they’re striving to become. After winning 44 games and making a playoff appearance in the 2015-16 season, the Pistons missed the playoffs last season, going 37-45.

In a way, this Pistons team is very similar to the Knicks. They have talented, established players under contract who have been unable to lift their team to any kind of consistent success. Both teams now enter this year looking to escape NBA purgatory.

Tipoff is at 8 p.m. ET and will be aired on MSG Network.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 19: Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers dribbles the ball while defended by Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 19, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. 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 Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

3) Oct. 19 at Oklahoma City Thunder

In what’ll be both teams regular season opener, the Knicks will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Chesapeake Bay Arena on October 19th.

The Thunder pulled off the blockbuster trade of the summer, acquiring forward, Paul George, from the Indiana Pacers. George, a two-way star, gives Oklahoma City a Robin to Russell Westbrook‘s Batman.

They also inked former Toronto forward Patrick Patterson to a three-year deal. While the Westbrook-George pairing and addition of Patterson likely has little-to-no chance of knocking off the Golden State Warriors, the Thunder now have a more formidable starting five in a stacked Western Conference.

For the Knicks, head coach Jeff Hornacek will get his first glimpse at how his new-look squad fares against a team projected to be one of the Association’s more dominant squads.

Tipoff is at 8 p.m. ET and will be aired on TNT.

CLEVELAND, OH – JUNE 07: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers lies on the court after a collision with Tristan Thompson #13 in the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 7, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. 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 Jason Miller/Getty Images)

2) Nov. 13 vs Cleveland Cavaliers

In their second meeting of the year, the Knicks will take on the NBA champion runner-up, Cleveland Cavaliers on November 13th.

After losing in the Finals, the Cavs have gone into a complete state of turmoil. With reasonable doubt existing as to whether LeBron James will re-sign in a year and point guard Kyrie Irving reportedly asking management for a trade, the Cavs have endured a number of challenging hurdles this offseason. The catch on Irving’s trade request is that he’s reportedly toying with the idea of playing for the Knicks.

While chances are that the Cavs retain their star guard for the 2017-18 season, Irving’s first game in the Garden this year will come with an overwhelming amount of intrigue for the fans in attendance. Plus, James will be in the Garden — which is just another reason to tune in.

Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be aired on MSG Network.

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 15: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks and the Eastern Conference looks on against James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets and the Western Conference and Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers and the Western Conference during the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York City. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)

1) Nov. 1 vs Houston Rockets

On the first day of the month, the Knicks will take on the Houston Rockets at the Garden in what’ll be a game full of headlines and players in new uniforms.

With Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony reportedly seeking a trade to Houston to play alongside newly acquired point guard Chris Paul and elite scorer James Harden, this affair between the two teams will be played under one of two circumstances.

Either Anthony remains a Knick despite wanting to be a Rocket, making this matchup awkward for all parties involved or Anthony is wearing Houston red and is making his return to the Garden.

Anthony has spent the last six-and-a-half years wearing the blue and orange, but he now officially wants out. With the constant rumors and speculation pertaining to whether the two sides will eventually strike a deal, this game will for sure be one to look forward to.

Tipoff is at 8 p.m. ET and will be aired on ESPN.

Please SUBSCRIBE to ESNY's Daily Newsletter, ESNY City Stream. Every piece of content included yet customized to your New York Sports-team allegiance:

ESNY City Stream

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU


Robbie Stratakos is a New York Knicks/Giants Beat Writer for Elite Sports NY (ESNY); he also covers the NBA nationally. He previously wrote at Last Word On Pro Basketball and Empire Writes Back. In addition to writing for ESNY, Robbie is an MLB columnist at Baseball Essential. He previously wrote at HardBallScoop - part of Scout/CBS Interactive/247Sports, Last Word On Baseball and District On Deck. He is attending Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York. Follow him on twitter @RPStratakos