With the NBA Schedule for the shortened 66 game season released yesterday it’s time to mark our calendars for notable games. The big topic issue with this shortened season is that many games would have to be sandwiched into a smaller time frame; this would lead to back to back to back games for NBA teams.
The Knicks are fortunate enough to only receive one of these as February 2nd they host Chicago then travel to Boston on the 3rd and then return home for the Nets on the 4th. It will be interesting to see how veterans such as Chauncey Billups and Amare Stoudemire handle playing 3 games in a row (assuming Billups is still here) as back to back to back games can prove hinder some for seasoned vets as well as injury prone players.
The Knicks will have 27 of their 66 games on national TV (NBATV, ESPN, ABC or TNT) so the whole country will get a lot of exposure to this year’s Knicks squad. A lot of these are the obvious choices which include all matchups against the Heat, Celtics, and Bulls. The out of conference games are headlined by meetings against contending teams such as the Lakers both home and on the road and at home world champion Mavericks. Some more obscure matchups made it as well including the Knicks hosting the Hornets and the Knicks visiting the Bobcats (which could both be Chris Paul related).
However with the shortened season there are of course games that did not make the schedule. This includes some interesting matchups at the Jazz, Suns and Blazers. One of the more noticeable of these missed matchups is at the New Orleans Hornets which could possibly a return for Chris Paul if the Knicks can find a way to acquire him, although the likelihood of a trade this season looks more unlikely by the day. Another missed matchup are the Knicks visiting the Clippers. We all remember the game last year where Blake Griffin had 2 of the most memorable highlights of the season, one nearly leaping over Mozgov on a dunk and one ridiculous spin move on Gallinari on his way to a power finish on the break.
Of course the most notable matchup that will be missed off the schedule is the Knicks at the Nuggets. A return to Denver for Carmelo Anthony and a homecoming for Chauncey Billups would have been interesting to the say the least. We’ll have to wait a year to see if the Nuggets fans would’ve cheered for Carmelo for all he’s done for that city and franchise or boo him for holding the organization hostage and forcing his way out of Denver.
With all that said, instead of dwelling on what’s not on the schedule it’s important as basketball fans to just be grateful for the season that we’ll have and look forward to Christmas, it can’t come soon enough.