In a little while, I will begin my trek into Manhattan, to make sure I am at Madison Square Garden in plenty of time to provide you with every bit of the color and majesty of this Knicks opening night against the Miami Heat. How long we’ve waited for this.
It seems strange to consider that back in May, we all assumed this night would include both Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin. Neither will be playing tonight, of course. But plenty of Knicks will be playing.
For me, the biggest moving parts I’m interested in seeing are:
1. How does Tyson Chandler look, given his knee injury? He’s made it clear that missing the game was never an option. But that’s Chandler; it doesn’t mean he’s healthy. He managed to play most of last season with a hand injury. Will a knee injury limit his ability to essentially be the team’s interior defense? We’ll sure find out against the Heat, who will have no problem getting to the basket. Tonight’s result probably hangs on that encounter.
2. What on earth is Rasheed Wallace like as a player now? We really have no idea. Nobody does. He’s only scrimmaged briefly. He hasn’t played in a preseason game. But Mike Woodson indicated he’ll get minutes tonight. Right now, Wallace is like a box of chocolates, but one you bought a couple of years ago and only recently rediscovered. What happens when you open it could be magical. Or grisly.
3. Ronnie Brewer is supposed to be the perimeter defender to hold down the fort until Iman Shumpert returns. (There’s no rule preventing a team from having two capable perimeter defenders, but for some reason, that’s how it seems to work for the Knicks lately.) Can he do anything to limit the production of LeBron James and Dwayne Wade?
There are plenty of other pleasures I’ll take in: seeing Carmelo Anthony score, crash the boards and score again. That first rush of Garden anticipation when Steve Novak is about to shoot. Even turning off the lights ahead of player intros will be fun, and make me feel like I’m at home!
What are you most excited about? I’ll be checking in all day, here and on Twitter @Lohudknicks, to let you see what I see.