New York Knicks vs. San Antonio Spurs Preview and Pick

New York Knicks +3.5 (4-2) at San Antonio Spurs -3.5 (1-4) O/U 196.5 8:30 PM ET, Monday November 11, 2008
By Jason Green at

Tonight the New York Knicks travel to the Lone Star State to play the reeling San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs are 1-4 AND they recently lost star PG Tony Parker for a month due to an ankle injury. The surprising Knicks are 4-2 and it is the first time they have been 2 games over .500 since 2005!

Basketball bookies are listing the Spurs as 3.5 point favorites with a total around 196.5. The Spurs are posted at -260 as home favorites and the Knicks are posted at +210 as away dogs.

So far this season the Spurs are 0-3 on the road and the Knicks are 1-1 away from the Big Apple.

The Knicks come into this game after beating the Utah Jazz on Sunday 107-99. The high scorer for the Knicks in that game was Jamal Crawford going for 32 points on 10/17 shooting. Knicks PF Zach Randolph had a great game scoring 25 points and grabbing 14 boards. For the game the Knicks shot 36/86 for a FG% of 41.9% and were draining the long ball shooting a 3 point FG% of 45.8%. On defense the Knicks allowed the Jazz to shoot 40/78 from the floor for a FG% of 51.3%.

The Spurs come into this game after losing to the Miami Heat last Friday night 99-83. The high scorer in that game for the Spurs was, shocker, Tim Duncan going for 22 points on 9/16 shooting. In the game the Spurs were throwing up bricks shooting only 23/85 for a FG% of 37.6%. On defense, like they played any, they allowed the Heat to shoot 36/77 from the floor for a FG% of 46.8%.

New York ranks 3rd in the league in scoring (102.5 ppg) and the Spurs rank 14th (98 ppg). The Spurs are shooting a better FG%, FT%, and 3 point FG%, but that really means *%^&* since they are the team that is 1-4 and in last place in the Southwest Division. Neither team is playing good D, as they are both rank 27th in points allowed (105 ppg). The Knicks are allowing opponents. to shoot over 50% from the field and the Spurs are not much better allowing opponents to shoot 47.77%. Neither team is hitting the glass either, as the Spurs have a rebounding differential of -3.6 rpg while the Knicks are even worse at -7.7 rpg.

This season the Spurs are a fantastic team to bet on, as they are 0-5 ATS while the Knicks are 3-3. In terms of Over/Under games the Spurs are 3-2 and the Knicks are 2-4.

On the injury front Eddie Curry is Out for the Knicks and Tony Parker is Out for the Spurs.

Things can’t go any worse for the Spurs to start their season, as they are 1-4, in last place in their division and without 2 of their stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Parker was the 2nd leading scorer in the NBA before he went down with an ankle injury against the Heat on Friday. They are off to their worst start in 35 years and their lone win of the season was against the pathetic Minnesota Timberwolves and they needed OT to do it. With all of that said they are still favored tonight by 4 against the 4-2 Knicks.

The keys for the Spurs in this game is playing some D and having some other players step up and score. On that front, the Spurs are in luck tonight, as the Knicks are as good at playing defense as Shaq is at shooting free throws.

Looking at the starting lineup for the depleted Spurs is painful to look at, as after Duncan (26 ppg) they have C Fabricio Oberto (1.3 ppg), SG Michael Finley (6 ppg), SF Bruce Bowen (2 ppg), and PG George Hill (6.3 ppg). That’s a hell of a lot of offense. The players that need to step up and fill the scoring void are Finley and Hill.

The Knicks will have to score a lot of points tonight in order t win with their defense, or lack thereof. It will be tough for the Spurs to contain Zach Randolph (19.8 ppg) and Jamal Crawford (19.2 ppg).

The Spurs will have to defend the 3 well tonight in order to win. Conversely, if the Knicks can drain the long ball they will have a good chance to win.

Can the Spurs stop their slide and get it done without 2 of their 3 stars in the lineup? Are the Knicks for real? Both questions will be answered after tonight’s game in San Antonio.

Jason’s Pick: The Knicks might “done get blowed out tonight”.