Madison Square Garden's ongoing, multi-year renovation mirrors the current rebirth of the NBA team it houses. The Garden resides in a state of flux, with sleek black seats in the lower bowls and the ugly teal eyesores in the upper bowls. Entrances to the Garden—specifically in the ticket areas—make the location virtually unrecognizable from previous years with shiny white floors and a general cleanliness unseen as recently as the spring. Advance up one level, however, and you'll find the unfinished concession stands that only offer beer, hot dogs and popcorn.
Likewise, the Knicks reside in a state of transition that will take a few years to complete. Some new pieces (Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire) are cemented in place for a potential championship run, but the NBA Finals will only act as a pipe dream unless the team gets a few more pieces and starts playing defense (not even good defense, as any consistently-played defense will do).
Still, reason exists to have more optimism about this season since the late 1990s. Take out your smart phone and mark these 10 games on your calendar right away.