Hey everybody, remember when the league released the Knicks' 2015-16 schedule? Wouldn't it be nice if they were playing some of those games right about now?
We can only dream, friends. But since we are stuck here in the dog days of August, let us dream together. The staff has each selected a particularly succulent matchup which he is looking forward to seeing come the regular season.
On December 23rd, the Knicks visit Cleveland. The opponent doesn't interest me as much as this being the Knicks 30th game. The past couple seasons, the Knicks have gotten off to God-awful starts: in 2014 they opened 5-15; last year they were 5-36. A young team without a 1st round pick cannot afford to be 5-25 and the fans might tear down the Garden if they do. I'd sign up today for 12-18.
The Timberwolves come to the Garden on December 16th. We got to see Kristaps Porzingis dominate Jahlil Okafor in summer league, but he hasn't yet gone toe to toe with Karl-Anthony Towns, so December 16th will be our first look at that matchup. Like most of us, I was really pulling for the Knicks to draft Towns, but now I'm fully on the Porzingis train. Karl Towns sucks and will never amount to anything and Kris is gonna obliterate him. Book it.
One guy that was a constant through the losing and humiliation of 2014-15 was New York's rookie coach, Derek Fisher. Steadfast and humble, Fisher did what little he could with that barnacled skiff of a team. So while the fresh faces might not harbor old grudges, you can be certain that last season's embarrassing loss to the Clippers in MSG, should be circled on the coach's calendar. The Knicks got beaten pretty badly all year, but that was the only game where it felt like an opponent was trying to actively embarrass and demoralize them. The Clippers pissed and moaned for calls all game. Then pushed and hacked, and ran up the score despite the Knicks being visibly dispirited. It was one of the only times they actually seemed to just give in to the wake. Then to kick us when we were down, Doc Rivers sent former Knick head coach, Mike Woodson, to the post game press conference, rather than appear himself. Cool move, Glenn.
So March 11, 2016 at 10:30 on NBA TV, the Knicks will hopefully be looking to seek revenge on Fisher's behalf. Turning the tide, and chopping down the NBA's biggest crybabies in the Staples Center while the blood hurtles it's way to Steve Ballmer's bulbous pink face would be delightful. Sharpen your scimitars, because that will be in the middle of a six-game road trip. And there better be blood!
The Knicks' final nationally televised appearance on TNT will be Feb. 9 when they host the Washington Wizards. TNT appearances offer heavy exposure and this may be the last big opportunity Kristaps Porzingis has to show out as a rookie. The Wizards offer a bulky frontline with Nene and Marcin Gortat, and will almost certainly be in the hunt for a top seed in the Eastern Conference. Porzingis and the Knicks could really benefit from a statement game from the rookie; it might convince potential free agents of a bright future in New York. Can traditional power forwards guard Kristaps? He'll put Nene to the test on national TV.
This is going to seem like a Bush League move, but I'm looking forward to the first game of the season, Oct. 28 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Give me a chance to explain. Oh why won't you give me a chance to explain???
The Bucks are exciting as hell, and will provide a stout test for the Knicks right off the bat. I don't care too much about the Greg Monroe angle, but when I think back on how poorly he played in some of those games last season against New York (remember Bargs shutting him down?), I would certainly get a kick out of him struggling in his Bucks debut.
Most importantly, I have a dream -- a dream that Thanasis Antetokounmpo somehow finds his way onto the roster for that game. Antetokounmpo vs. Antetokounmpo! The Peloponnesian War!
What about you, fair P&T'er? Let us know your most anticipated matchup in the comments section.