Knicks open at home against Bulls followed with a visit to LeBron James and Cavaliers

Carmelo Anthony #7 and J.R. Smith #8 celebrate Carmelo Anthony #7 and J.R. Smith #8 celebrate after a basket during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, January 30, 2014. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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Could there be a tougher way for the Knicks to start their season?

The Knicks will visit Cleveland on Oct. 30 for LeBron James' first game back with the Cavaliers in front of what likely will be an amped crowd at the Quicken Loans Arena, the NBA announced Wednesday in releasing its 2014-15 schedule.

The Knicks begin their season on Oct. 29, at Madison Square Garden at 8 p.m. against the Chicago Bulls. That means the Knicks begin the season by playing against favorites to win the Eastern Conference on back-to-back nights.

The Bulls, led by Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol, came close this summer to prying Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks, who were 37-45 last season and missed the playoffs.

As part of this year's NBA Global Games, the Knicks head to London to play the Milwaukee Bucks under new coach Jason Kidd on Jan. 15.

Kidd, who bolted to Milwaukee after completing his rookie season as Nets coach, will return to Barclays Center on Nov. 19, when the Nets face the Bucks.

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The Nets will open their season against the Celtics in Boston on Oct. 29. The Nets' first home game will be against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 3.

The Knicks will face the Nets on Dec. 2 and April 1 at the Garden, as well as Nov. 7 and Feb. 6 at Barclays Center.

The defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs will begin the NBA season by hosting the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

On Christmas Day, James will play his first game in Miami since returning to the Cavaliers.

The Knicks will host the Washington Wizards on Christmas Day. There will be three other Christmas Day games: Thunder at San Antonio; L.A. Lakers at Chicago and Warriors at L.A. Clippers.

The Knicks and Nets will host All-Star Weekend in February.

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