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          === Knicks begin Atlantic Division defense against Bucks ===
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Knicks are one of the NBA's elite teams and
 look to keep it that way when they open the 2013-14 season versus the
 Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden.
 
 Led by superstar and reigning scoring champion Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks
 hope to finish at the top of the East and will jockey for position with Miami,
 Chicago, Indiana and Brooklyn. Last season, the Knicks won the Atlantic
 Division title for the first time since 1994.
 
 In the offseason, the Knicks didn't need to do much to improve. The roster was
 solid, but that didn't stop New York from bringing in two polarizing forwards.
 
 Andrea Bargnani, the former first overall pick, was acquired from the Toronto
 Raptors. The price was steep, not so much in Marcus Camby, Steve Novak or
 Quentin Richardson, but in a first-round pick.
 
 "He's one of those gifted players I think I can reach," Knicks coach Mike
 Woodson said of Bargnani. "He's good enough to help us."
 
 Metta World Peace was amnestied by the Los Angeles Lakers and returned home to
 the Big Apple, joining forces with Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire,
 Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton. Shumpert is a great defender and should be
 even better this season after he has more time removed from his ACL surgery.
 
 The Knicks are aiming to reach the playoffs for a fourth straight season and
 this time hope to make a deep run toward an NBA title.
 
 Milwaukee was able to reach the postseason in 2012-13 despite a less-than-
 stellar 38-44 record. But, the Bucks were able to take advantage in the bottom
 tier of the Eastern Conference.
 
 The Bucks were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the eventual
 champion Miami Heat. They're hoping some new faces will improve their status
 this season under new head coach Larry Drew, who went 128-102 in three years
 with the Atlanta Hawks.
 
 Milwaukee's backcourt of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings was explosive and
 scored a ton. They are now in Dallas and Detroit, respectively. Replacing them
 will be O.J. Mayo, another score-first shooting guard, and the point-guard
 tandem of Luke Ridnour and Brandon Knight, who was acquired from the Pistons
 for Jennings.
 
 The final new member of the starting five is Caron Butler, a Wisconsin native,
 who became very emotional at the press conference announcing his acquisition.
 
 "This is something that I always dreamed about, thought about. I never thought
 it would happen. So it's special," Butler said.
 
 The Bucks even revamped their second unit, signing Gary Neal from the San
 Antonio Spurs, Carlos Delfino from the Houston Rockets and Zaza Pachulia from
 Drew's Hawks.
 
 The new additions, however, won't keep the Bucks from facing either Miami,
 Chicago, Indiana and New York in the first round of the playoffs if they make
 it there again.
 
 New York won all three games against Milwaukee last season and is unbeaten in
 the previous three matchups with the Bucks at MSG.
 
 10/30 10:19:22 ET