The Knicks open the season tonight against the new-look Thunder in Oklahoma City. Some old friends will meet again after the Carmelo Anthony to OKC trade a few weeks ago. Let's take a look at the three things to watch for...
Porzingis vs. Melo
Only fitting, right? Just a few weeks after the trade, the basketball gods lined up the two former teammates to duke it out on opening night. The former face of the Knicks will take on the new face of the Knicks, and they will likely be guarding each other all night long.
It's going to be intriguing to see Carmelo Anthony against the Knicks period, but going up against Porzingis will be a must-watch every possession. You know Porzingis wants to swat a couple of his attempts into Tulsa. Porzingis is going to have his hands full and his stamina will be something to keep an eye on as covering Melo will be a tough task. Melo has added incentive to stick it to his former team tonight in front of his new home fans.
Enes Kanter against his former team
Kanter will play his former team and go up against his old pal, Steven Adams. With Porzingis taking on Melo, Kanter is going to be important for the Knicks on the glass. We know Kanter can score in bunches, but the Knicks need him to stay out of foul trouble and put up double-doubles. If there's any guy that can cover him better than anyone, it's Adams. The former teammates are going to be quite the battle to watch in the low post.
Ntilikina vs. Westbrook
Rookie Frank Ntilikina did not play much in the preseason due to injuries. He gets the joy of opening the season covering the defending NBA MVP and triple-double machine Russell Westbrook. It doesn't get any tougher for Ntilikina to get his NBA career going. Although Ntilikina may come off the bench, he'll likely see Westbrook at points of this game. The Knicks will need his 7-foot wingspan. The point guard rotation that Jeff Hornacek uses will be intriguing to watch as well. He'll likely limit Ntilikina's minutes for the first few weeks of the season.