The NBA’s 2011-12 regular season schedule was released yesterday, drawing comparisons to Newt Gingrich’s outlined agenda for a run at a Presidential nomination, and the still groundbreaking, somehow riveting script for Breaking Bad’s ninth season. Ridiculous, laughable, pointless; tantalizing, torturous, imaginary. A sprinkle of hope’s in there somewhere as I’m still sifting through all the recently reported cordial progress regarding a new CBA and how the players and owners are finally making strides to end this thing once and f…wait, none of that happened. There is no progress, strides are not being made, and as the NFL’s two sides are about to kiss and make up, the NBA labor dispute remains an unconscionable holy war on basketball fans across the globe.
All that being said, someday professional basketball in this country will resume activity. Whenever that happens, the Knicks will be there, in all likelihood competing in at least half of the games listed on their official schedule. In honor of hopeful wishing, here is our list of the 10 most intriguing regular season Knicks games on the 2011-12 slate. Over the next couple weeks, one stand-out, must-watch game will be written about each day. So yea, circle the date on your invisible calendar of make believe, cross your toes, huddle up, and let’s all patiently wait for the winter!
January 13 @ Oklahoma City Thunder
It’s the second night of a road back to back against a team that could easily find itself representing the Western Conference in next year’s NBA Finals (the first game’s in Memphis, against another young, hungry, up and coming, dangerous team). How can this game not excite you? Let’s start with the most obvious match-up. A combined 70 points could easily occur in the battle between Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, two of the five best offensive basketball players in the world. One night after taking on the frustratingly effective Tony Allen/Shane Battier duo, expect Melo to play with a cocktail of emotions on his sleeve; anger and relief should bulge in his mind as he competes in front of one of the league’s most bombastic audiences. Last season, Anthony played the Thunder one time. He scored a measly 35 points on zero three-pointers, grabbed seven boards, and led the Nuggets to a five point victory. (Durant had 22.) Both teams crossed the century mark and were looking to out score the other via an old fashioned shootout. Expect to see the same thing next year on an especially hot January night in Oklahoma City.