Two of the league's hottest teams call New York their home, as the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are both well above .500 as they hit the road for back-to-backs Tuesday and Wednesday nights before the league takes Thanksgiving off.
New York lost its first game Friday night, although nobody in the league considers losing at Memphis to be embarrassing, and the Knicks are still one of two teams in the league with only one loss. Meanwhile, Brooklyn has won five straight since starting the year off 1-2.
The Knicks hit the road again after returning home for a single game against the Indiana Pacers, which they won 88-76 for their sixth double-digit win in eight outings. Tuesday, they face the New Orleans Hornets, who have looked surprisingly close to average in the early going of a youth movement led by Anthony Davis. But they have the capability to sputter offensively, as evidenced by a 77-62 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, and have lost three straight. Wednesday, the Knicks move to Dallas to take on the Mavericks, who they've already beaten 104-94. That loss has sparked a rough stretch for the Mavs, who have lost games to the Bobcats, Timberwolves, and Pacers since the last meeting as they look for scoring from O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman in the absence Dirk Nowitzki. The Knicks' defense has dropped off a bit, but they still have the best offensive efficiency in the league and aren't facing any scoring juggernauts on this trip.
The Nets remain on the West Coast with hopes of continuing a five-game winning streak. First up are the Los Angeles Lakers, who will likely be playing their first game under new coach Mike D'Antoni. The Lakers have perked up since firing Mike Brown and now sit at .500. Whether their improved play is due to enthusiasm from more motivated players who were displeased under Brown, a switch away from the Princeton offense, or just sheer luck is unclear, but they've won four of five. Wednesday night, they take on the Golden State Warriors, who sit at .500 thanks to five players averaging double-digits. Things have really been clicking for the Nets, but it remains to see whether their strong play has been the result of a strong team or just weak opposition - only one of their six wins is against a team over .500.
Here's a look at the upcoming schedules for this week for each team:
New York Knicks
Tuesday, Nov. 20: @ New Orleans Hornets, 8 p.m., MSG
Wednesday, Nov. 21: @ Dallas Mavericks, 8:30 p.m., MSG
Tuesday, Nov. 20: @ Los Angeles Lakers, YES, NBATV
Wednesday, Nov. 21: @ Golden State Warriors, YES