NBA schedule 2012: Knicks host Nets at MSG

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

As the new year approaches, the Knicks and Nets are just a few of the teams with playoff dreams on their mind.

On Wednesday night, the New York Knicks will host the Brooklyn Nets for the first time at Madison Square Garden on national television.

The Knicks have been played inspired basketball sans their last game, compiling an 18-6 record. Carmelo Anthony has missed the last two games with a sprained ankle and will be a game-time decision for this one.

On the other hand, Brooklyn started hot but has been reeling since center Brook Lopez went down with a foot injury, leaving the Nets at 13-11 and sixth in the Eastern Conference.

Another terrific contest on the docket is the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Atlanta Hawks.

Many thought the Hawks would be a non-factor this year after trading away Joe Johnson. However, Atlanta (15-7) has shocked the pundits and played exceptionally under head coach Larry Drew, looking unselfish and showing zest on defense.

Of course, the Thunder are rolling as usual with the league's best mark of 20-4. Kevin Durant is leading the way with 27.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Losing James Harden would be a disaster for most teams, but Oklahoma City doesn't appear to notice.

For a look at Wednesday's full slate of games, please click here.

Brooklyn Nets at New York Knicks, 7 p.m., ESPN

Detroit Pistons at Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m., NBA League Pass

Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic, 7 p.m., NBA League Pass

Utah Jazz at Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m., NBA League Pass

Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics, 7:30 p.m., NBA League Pass

Oklahoma City Thunder at Atlanta Hawks, 7:30 p.m., NBA League Pass

Philadelphia 76ers at Houston Rockets, 8 p.m., NBA League Pass

Charlotte Bobcats at Phoenix Suns, 9 p.m., NBA League Pass

Milwaukee Bucks at Memphis Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m., ESPN

Golden State Warriors at Sacramento Kings, 10 p.m., NBA League Pass

New Orleans Hornets at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 p.m., NBA League Pass

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