By Kurylo and Cavan
Like a sack of cheap birdseed emptied in Central Park after a snowstorm, the release of the NBA schedule marks something of a merciful offseason ritual for fans and bloggers alike. We’re all birds, you see.
We were given a tiny taster Monday afternoon when it was announced that the orange and blue would open the season at home against… the Bucks? Sure, why not! Obviously — and as always — the real meat of the season is interspersed throughout. So let’s take a gander at some of the key games and stretches of what promises to be another gut-crunching New York Knicks campaign. And remember, kids: never combine booze and antacids, unless you’re Don Nelson.
As if this needs to be stated, the following is for amusement only. Any events that should come true do not mean that the author can travel through time. That’s just silly, and totally not possibly according to the laws of physics.
10/30 Milwaukee – The Knicks blow out the Bucks, when half of their team is not allowed through the players’ entrance due to a mistaken identity. Viacheslav Kravtsov, Ersan Ilyasova, and Miroslav Raduljica join a mid-town flash-mob and decide to retire from the N.B.A. to follow their dreams.
10/31 @ Chicago – After sitting out the first game of the season against the Heat, Jalen Rose trots out to play in Derrick’s uniform. In the post-game interview, Derrick Rose deflects questions about his fear of playing against N.B.A. players given the bullseye on his back for undeservedly winning the 2011 MVP. The whole interview is done with Rose wearing Ricky Williams’ Saints Helmet. When asked if that’s his Halloween costume Rose replies, “It’s Halloween?”
11/3 Minnesota – Ricky Rubio and Pablo Prigioni spend 47 minutes stealing the ball from each other. TWolves win 1-0 when Ron Artest gets a technical for stripping off his jersey to sell his own brand of perfume titled “Fleur du Vingt-et-unième rue.”
11/10 San Antonio – After a home-and-home against the Bobcats, we’ll all be ready for an opponent that hasn’t taken to spiking its lottery-destined team’s Gatorade with straight psilocybin. The Spurs will enter the season where they always do: underrated, under-appreciated, and considerably balder. Jim is not far behind, having ripped out half his own watching Gerald Henderson drop 90 points in a little over 24 hours.
11/14 Houston – It’ll be interesting to see Howard be unhappy in yet another uniform. Lke a Japanese bride on her third arranged marriage.
11/19 @ Detroit – A sentimental event for Jim, a native of the D, and our first look at the the Pistons’ trio of Southpaw Slingers. Detroit’s floor spacing — consisting of all five players standing in the left corner screaming for the ball, spittle flying everywhere — sparks in viewers acute vertigo, dry heaves, and a sneaking suspicion that Andre Drummond was actually born during the Ford Administration.
11/20 Indiana – These two teams will roll up their sleeves & pick up where they left off in June. Also I fully expect Kenyon Martin to hand Chris Copeland this, when he first steps on the court. At which point David West will step in, menacingly, and explain that “That $#%@& is my princess, now.”
11/27 LA Clippers – The second stand in our late November mini-road trip, and another early test, this time against a team poised to be one of the league’s offensive juggernauts. But that’s OK, because we have Carmelo Anthony, and–oh wow Blake Griffin just dunked the ball and shattered Jeremy Tyler’s teeth.
12/1 Brooklyn – Reggie Evans and Kevin Garnett take turns elbowing Carmelo Anthony in the face. It’s nice to see these two finally find someone else who takes their jobs as seriously as they do. Practices typically end with Garnett and Evans off in some dark corner of Barclays, slapping each other as hard as they can with open palms. The teams will square off again four days later.
12/25 Oklahoma City – Merry $#%@&*! Christmas, everyone! Here’s a stocking full of Russell Westbrook scowls and Kevin Durant free throw attempts! No, you can’t return them for cash. No, you cannot convert to Judaism for better presents. No, Uncle Jim can’t live in the basement.
12/27 Toronto – With Chandler, STAT, and Martin hurt, Andrea gets revenge on his old team by scoring 38 points. But the Knicks lose by double digits due to a Toronto rebounding edge of 98 to 5, although none were by Steve Novak.
12/28 @ Toronto – In the next-day rematch Coach Woodson forces Tyson Chandler onto the court, despite being injured. Chandler’s skeleton leaves his body and opens a successful cheese shop in FIDI.
1/26 Lakers – With the Lakers rebuilding, D’Antoni awkwardly kisses up to ‘Melo during the pre-game shoot around, trying to caress his hand between shots (it’s an Italian thing), and then begs Dolan for his job back in the MSG bowels immediately following the game. Dolan agrees to give Mike D. the head coaching job, under the one condition that he can “get my axe so I can play you my latest song — it’s called Locked Out of Love.” D’Antoni immediately leaves, hailing the first taxi he sees.
2/1 Heat – Ron Artest brings a sword onto the court and cuts Dwayne Wade into half. Commissioner Adam Silver, in an attempt to set some semblance of heavy-handed tone, suspends Artest for 50 games, not really understanding how many games there are in an NBA season. Miami is allowed to get out of Wade’s contract early, and the NBA hands them one player of their choice. In a four day televised event, LeBron James chooses “Kyrie Irving” as his “New Wade” and then surprises the audience by claiming “Blake Griffin” to be the “New Bosh”. Silver checks with Riley, and “Uncle Pat” approves the deal. Also the “LeBron James Mid-Season Choice” becomes a yearly ritual. Imagine Dragons signs a 10-year tender to be the show’s in-house band.
2/7 Utah – After a combined appeal from the player’s union and the NRA, the league lifts Artest’s suspension, just in time for Utah’s annual trip to MSG. Artest celebrates by hitting Enes Kanter over the head with a folding chair during the National Anthem.
2/9 @ Oklahoma – In a pivotal game, Amar’e Stoudemire decides to bear through the pain and plays the greatest 38 minutes of his professional career.
2/12 Sacramento/Poughkeepsie – Stoudemire misses the game “as a precaution.” He is only seen once more in public, to sign his contract extension in the summer of 2014.
3/30 @ Warriors – Stephen Curry scores 102 points, all on layups, breaking the NBA record for points scored in a game. Unfortunately David Lee suffers a dislocated skull walking to the bench. It’s a day-to-day injury for Lee.
4/15 @ Nets – With the Atlantic Division crown on the line, Carmelo Anthony takes matters into his own hands, tallying 43 points on 75 shots in a dramatic Bocker win. Afterwards, Melo reflects on yet another heroics-laden performance, stating, “This one was all about team — I trusted in my teammates. Has anyone seen my shoulder socket?”
4/16 Toronto – Seeing his first major minutes, Tim Hardaway Jr. scores 50 points in a meaningless game. Knick fans write it off as inconsequential and against inferior talent, and totally don’t spend the summer arguing about his potential.