Knicks unveil 2012-13 schedule

NEW YORK -- Sure, the Knicks trip to Brooklyn to open the season against the Nets on Nov. 1 is noteworthy. As is their home opener against the Miami Heat on Nov. 2.

But the date that's sure to be circled by most Knicks fans is Dec. 17, when Jeremy Lin will return to Madison Square Garden as a member of the Houston Rockets.

Lin agreed to a three-year, $25.1 million deal with the Rockets earlier this month. The Knicks declined to match Houston's offer, in part because they didn't think Lin was worth the $14.8 million salary in the third year of the contract. (It would have cost the Knicks $43 million if counted against the luxury tax).

Letting Lin walk was the most noteworthy move for the Knicks in the offseason.

But it wasn't the only one.

New York acquired veterans Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton. The Knicks also re-signed J.R. Smith, Steve Novak and added Ronnie Brewer.

A strong offseason for sure, but some were critical of GM Glen Grunwald for his inability to secure a top-flight point guard.

The Knicks made a strong push to acquire Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade with Phoenix but the Suns ultimately chose to deal the two-time MVP to the Lakers.

The Knicks will get their first look at Nash and the Lakers on Dec. 13 in New York. Then they will travel to Los Angeles to take on Nash, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Christmas Day.

Another date to watch is March 13, when the Knicks will play in Denver for the first time since trading for Carmelo Anthony in February 2011. Even though the trade will be more than two years old by the time Anthony takes the floor, you can expect him to be booed vociferously in the Mile High City.

Raymond Felton returns to Portland the night after Anthony's return to Denver. Also, Landry Fields comes back to Madison Square Garden with the Raptors on Feb. 13.

In all, the Knicks play 18 back-to-backs this season but, thanks to a return to the traditional 82-game schedule, they don't have to play a back-to-back-to-back set.

New York plays both Brooklyn and Miami four times apiece.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.