Zion Williamson
AP Photo/Steve Marcus

The New York Knicks will meet the Pelicans and Zion Williamson for a tune-up in Madison Square Garden before the real thing begins.

The New York Knicks released their preseason schedule on Thursday. The four games are highlighted by a clash with Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Obviously, Zion is the marquee matchup. The Las Vegas Summer League game between Williamson’s Pels and RJ Barrett‘s Knicks was the highest-rated Summer League game in history.

However, the game did not live up to the hype. Zion only played nine minutes before he was shut down for the entirety of the Summer League. For the Knicks, Barrett struggled mightily and the first edition of Zion vs. RJ was a definite dud.

Hopefully, Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry lets Williamson play a little bit, but it’s far from a certainty.

Two games against the Washington Wizards has become some sort of tradition for the Knicks. For the third straight year, Washinton and New York will see each other twice during the preseason.

It makes sense for both teams. The travel isn’t bad and they aren’t division rivals who will see each other four times each year.

The Atlanta Hawks are an interesting team as well. The Hawks’ young core came on strong in the second half of last season and they will be looking to take the next step in 2019-20.

Fans at Madison Square Garden will have another opportunity to see dynamic point guard Trae Young, albeit in a meaningless game.

The NBA regular season schedule will be released at a later date in the summer. Last year, that came on Aug. 10. It is safe to expect the 2019-20 schedule to come out sometime in early August.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.