by Jonah Ballow
NYKnicks.com
@jonahballow

8:00 PM ET | Chesapeake Energy Arena
TV:  TNT
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

1.  Throughout the preseason, the Knicks dealt with a myriad of injuries to key players.  With three days at the training center this past week, New York’s roster is healthy and prepared for the season opener in Oklahoma City.  After missing the last two preseason games, Kristaps Porzingis will return to the lineup along with rookie Frank Ntilikina.  Joakim Noah will not suit up tonight with 12 games remaining on his NBA suspension.

2.  The Knicks felt they were trending in a positive direction in a close fought contest last Friday night in the preseason finale against the Wizards.  New York buried 11-of-26 (42.3%) shots from long range despite the absence of Porzingis and Ntilikina in the lineup.

3.  Tim Hardway Jr. makes his regular season debut for the Knicks after returning to the team that drafted him in 2013.  The shooting guard enjoyed a stellar preseason by averaging 17.8 points on 50.7 percent shooting from the floor and 43.2 percent behind the arc in 27.2 minutes per game.  These are the type of numbers the New York front office projected when the group inked him to a free agent contract this summer.   

4.  Russell Westbrook officially earned the nickname “Mr. Triple Double” and the Thunder captured 47 games last year after losing Kevin Durant.  The reigning MVP has some new teammates to run with in 2017-18.  Oklahoma City acquired Carmelo Anthony in a trade with the Knicks and snatched Paul George from the Indiana Pacers.  The Thunder also acquired Patrick Patterson and Raymond Felton.

5.  Patterson and Felton went through contact at Wednesday’s practice session in Oklahoma City.  Both players are listed as day-to-day for the Thunder.