One key part of the 2012-13 NBA season is the amount of games being played on foreign soil. As part of the NBA’s effort to make the league relevant on a global scale, the New Orleans Hornets and the Orlando Magic will play a game in Mexico, and the Miami Heat will face the Los Angeles Clippers in China. We can now add the Detroit Pistons and the New York Knicks to the list of select teams that will be our traveling advertisements this coming season, although the location of the game is yet to be announced.
There is speculation that the game, which is one of the Pistons “home” matches, will be held in London, and that NBA Commissioner, David Stern, is waiting until after he Summer Olympics to make the announcement. Other possible locations include, Spain, Germany, Japan, or Australia, but there is no one rumor making any of these choice stand out from the other, unless it is London.
Reportedly, the NBA had planned for two teams to travel to London last season, but the plan was nixed due to the lock out and the subsequent shortened season.
Wherever the game is to be held, both teams will have plenty of time to acclimate to the geographical differences, with both teams having just this one game in a full week’s time. The Pistons will have four days off prior to the January 17th match, and then two days after, while the Knicks will be off three and three.
Both the Magic/Hornets and the Heat/Clippers games will be held before the actual season starts, with the Heat and Clippers actually playing two games in front of the Chinese fan base.
Of these three match ups, Detroit and the Knicks may turn out to be the most exciting. New York continues to add pieces as they try desperately to turn the storied franchise around, and the Pistons are on the verge of stepping away from the rebuilding tag they have worn for the last four seasons.
The Pistons will match up well against the Knicks, having the personal to neutralize New York’s strengths. The Pistons can lean on the low post presence of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond to handle Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudamire, while the length and defensive strength of Teyshaun Prince make him the type of defender Knicks’ Carmello Anthony has historically struggled against. The point and shooting guard position for the Knicks is questionable right now, while both positions promise to be a strength for Detroit this year.
The sense of secrecy about the location may turn out to be little more than the league just not having a site set before the release of the schedule, and if the rumors have any truth to them, the host country should be named shortly after the conclusion of the Summer Games.
Regardless of where these two teams meet, the fans of both clubs should have plenty to be proud of when the game is finished.
Jeff Everette is a featured columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. You can follow him on twitter @jeverettesports, or subscribe to Jeff Everette-RantSports.com on both Facebook and Google+ for all of his latest articles, opinions, and rants.
More NBA Content from Rant Sports: