Just on principle, I can’t pick a game before at least January, because frankly it doesn’t look like those games are terribly likely to happen. Whenever the season does start, my most anticipated game is the Knicks’ first shot at the Celtics, and with a tasty Christmas home-and-home possibly to be wiped off the books, that figures to be March 4 in Boston on ABC. Two weeks prior, the Knicks make their regular-season return to network television after what must be a ten-year layoff, Feb. 19 against Dallas – seriously, I think Snapper Jones announced our last network game – but March 4 is the big one for me. No one outside New York seems to realize just how close this series was before the injuries, and whether you mark it down to inferior talent or a lack of experience playing together, I still think the Knicks can play on Boston’s level.
And unlike other seasons, where no one game means much of anything, this game may actually have fairly serious playoff implications. We may well be looking at around a 40-game season, making every game doubly important, and in a limited sample size the Knicks might just be able to challenge for the division and a top seed. Games against Boston might go a long way towards making that happen.
Then again, isn’t an 82-game season about as likely as the Knicks’ upsetting the Celtics for the division? Then why dream of one and not the other? Answer: I have no idea. Come on, it’s Friday, it’s 104 degrees where I live, and we’re in a lockout. I can barely hold a thought in my head. Enjoy the weekend everybody, and who knows, maybe David Stern finds a heart, Kevin Garnett takes a digger and both dreams come true.