Any time a professional sports league reveals its schedule for the upcoming season, bloggers, fans, and media pore over and craft their MOST ANTICIPATED GAMES lists. Generally, the types of games that constitute a “highlight” on the upcoming schedule are: rivalry games, games that fall on holidays (for some reason), season and home openers, season closers (there’s a .06% chance that it will be really important!), games against great teams and players, games where a newly-acquired or departed player first plays against a former team, etc.
But let’s be honest here, folks. If you’re a Knicks fan, it’s far more exciting to look forward to the opposite nights. The ones in which the first thing you’ll do after spending three-plus hours watching the Knicks on television is question the purpose of human existence.
In a given Knicks season, these nights can occur approximately 60-78 times. Here are the ones we think will be cause the most existential crises:
Monday, November 10 – Knicks vs. Hawks
If the NBA were a cheeseburger, the Atlanta Hawks would be the tomato. A cheeseburger does not need a tomato. Often times you just forget about asking for your burger without a tomato, because it’s that inconsequential. The tomato won’t ruin the burger, but it really adds nothing. It just sort of exists. That’s the Atlanta Hawks. They just sort of exist, floating aimlessly through the NBA’s atmosphere. And on Monday, November 10, the Knicks play the Hawks in the second game of a back-to-back. So if you didn’t spend your Saturday night watching Jeff Teague torch Jose Calderon in front of 3,598 bored Atlantans, you get a second chance just 48 hours later.
Prediction: Hawks 97, Knicks 86.
Tuesday, November 18 – Knicks at Bucks
As far as I’m concerned, this is the most-anticipated game of the season in terms of morbid excitement. Since the Knicks play the Bucks in London in January, and it’s a Bucks home game, this represents the Knicks’ lone chance to play the Bucks in Milwaukee. If you’ve followed recent Knicks-Bucks history, you know that their games in Milwaukee are can’t-misses. Will we get another “you can’t script this stuff” Andrea Bargnani 3-point attempt? Which Buck will get notch their career high for points? And we’re now adding Jason Kidd to the mix.
Prediction: The Knicks force triple overtime on a Shane Larkin half-court heave at the buzzer. JR Smith then nails a 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left in the 3rd OT to put the Knicks up by 1, but is subsequently called for a technical foul when he brandishes his iPhone and Instagrams a selfie during his celebration. Jabari Parker nails a technical free throw to tie the game, and the Bucks pull away in the 4th OT. Bucks 137, Knicks 129.
Saturday, November 22 – Knicks vs. 76ers
It’s always fun when the Knicks struggle against teams that are ostensibly not trying to actually win, and the 76ers have set the bar at a new-record high (low?) for intentional suckitude. GM Sam Hinkie would trade for a 2026 first round pick if it were allowed, and we’d get a deluge of columns calling it shrewd. By then, Joel Embiid will only be 32. This team knows how to plan for the future. This early in the season, common sense would tell you there’d be no way the Sixers were already tanking. Common sense would be inaccurate.
Prediction: Knicks 91, Sixers 80. Despite him not even playing, Clyde Frazier pronounces “Embiid” six different ways.
Saturday, December 27 – Knicks at Kings
Because any time the Knicks and the Kings play each other, an angel loses its wings.
Prediction: The Knicks win a slugfest, 88-86.
Thursday, January 29 – Knicks at Pacers
That whole Pacers renaissance thing was fun while it lasted. With Paul George out for the year and Lance Stephenson doing the smart thing and voluntarily leaving the state of Indiana, the 2014-15 Pacers have a good chance of being the most boring team in the history of the NBA. The Pacers will probably have a good defense, because Joe from Impractical Jokers is a good coach, but this offense is poised to be approved by the FDA as a supplement to induce heavy sleep. Is everyone ready for the thrilling excitement of the George Hill-to-Roy-Hibbert post-entry pass?
Prediction: The Pacers notch their season-high for points and win, 114-101.