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New York Knicks vs San Antonio Spurs Prediction & Match Preview - December 7th, 2021 | NBA Season 2021-22

The New York Knicks will visit the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday [Photo: NBA.com]
The New York Knicks will visit the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday [Photo: NBA.com]
Michael Macasero
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The New York Knicks start a three-game road trip with a visit to AT&T Center for a matchup against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.

The Knicks are 4-6 in their last ten games, including a recent three-game losing skid since Tom Thibodeau removed starting point guard Kemba Walker from the rotation. They have just lost back-to-back games at Madison Square Garden in their last two matchups.

The New York Knicks’ consecutive losses included a humiliating defeat to the Denver Nuggets, who had almost half of their lineup on the injury list.

"I could be pissed, but at the end of the day there are some young guys here who look up to me. Maybe I can be a role model. I love being around my teammates and I'm going to cheer them on until I can't anymore."- Kemba Walker https://t.co/KmC5ibBKzG

Tuesday's matchup will be a battle between two teams who are seemingly headed in opposite directions as the season progresses.


Match Details

Fixture: New York Knicks vs San Antonio Spurs | 2021-22 NBA Season

Date & Time: Tuesday, December 7th; 8:30 PM ET (Wednesday, December 8th; 7:00 AM IST)

Venue: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX


New York Knicks Preview

The New York Knicks are on a slippery slope if they continue to play with lack of effort and hustle [Photo: Daily Knicks]
The New York Knicks are on a slippery slope if they continue to play with lack of effort and hustle [Photo: Daily Knicks]

Effort, energy and hustle are three of the most repeated words in the last few weeks concerning the New York Knicks. Unfortunately, these are issues that continue to hound them, especially in their two-game losing skid. Against reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, the Knicks simply couldn’t match the visitors' all-out effort and determination despite being severely depleted.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau has hinted at more changes if he finds that the effort was there, and things just don’t seem to be working. However, that much-needed effort hasn’t been seen, particularly on the defensive end. The New York Knicks’ 117.8 defensive rating in their last five games would place them so ridiculously far from the bottom-ranked Portland Trail Blazers’ 113.3 average.

The New York KNicks’ early-season offensive explosion is barely alive right now. If they can’t drastically improve their defense, it could turn out to be yet another disappointing season for the Big Apple franchise.


Key Player - Julius Randle

Julius Randle is the New York Knicks’ best player. The All-Star forward is averaging a double-double and a team-best 20.1 points, 10 rebounds and 5.3 assists a game. His ability to score in a variety of ways and from different spots on the floor makes him a tough cover. New York is also benefitting from his ability to pass out of double-teams and create for his teammates.

However, Randle’s late struggles are a microcosm of how the New York Knicks have regressed after a very promising start to the season. He has shown a lack of effort and energy, particularly on the defense. Sometimes, he is lost or late in rotations. Oftentimes, he just abandons his defensive responsibilities.

Julius Randle on what's wrong with the Knicks D: "Lotta different things…little details...maybe the average eye...might not see...like being at the nail helping....little things like that…Takes a certain level of focus & intensity, like coach tells us...we gotta commit to it" https://t.co/wUDKZ1g6tI

As the New York Knicks’ franchise player, he has to lead by example. He already said that he knows what he wants to be and what the team wants to be. They just have to put action into those words, with the forward leading the charge.


New York Knicks Predicted Lineup

G - Alec Burks | G - Evan Fournier | F - RJ Barrett | F - Julius Randle | C - Mitchell Robinson


San Antonio Spurs Preview

The San Antonio Spurs' young core is now starting to show some real development [Photo: Pounding the Rock]
The San Antonio Spurs' young core is now starting to show some real development [Photo: Pounding the Rock]

The youthful San Antonio Spurs are growing, and the NBA is taking notice. They won their previous four games over some very tough teams, including the best team in the league right now - the Golden State Warriors.

San Antonio’s best winning run of the season was just snapped by the Phoenix Suns. Against the reigning Western Conference champions, they have proven that they are slowly learning their game and becoming more poised in big-time situations. In two games against the Suns, the San Antonio Spurs have lost a combined eight points, with both losses arguably winnable.

Leading the way this season for the San Antonio Spurs is the youthful backcourt of Dejounte Murray and Derrick White. Murray has been fantastic all season long, while White is starting to return to the form that has made him such an intriguing talent heading into this campaign.

The San Antonio Spurs’ tenacity, attention to detail and solid execution will be a big challenge for the New York Knicks.


Key Player - Dejounte Murray

Dejounte Murray is averaging a career-high in scoring, rebounding and assists. His average of 19.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.3 assists speaks volumes of his improvement as a player. More importantly, without the 25-year old point guard, the San Antonio Spurs could hardly buy a basket.

The six-year guard is slowly gaining the attention of the NBA with his performance. He was one of the few candidates for the Player of the Week honor. After his 17-point and 14-assist performance against Chris Paul, he now joins Tim Duncan as the first San Antonio Spurs player to record a double-double in seven straight games.

Dejounte Murray this season6th in Assists | 7th in Assists Per Game6th in Steals | 5th in Steals Per Game16th in Defensive Rebounds12th in Defensive Win Shares9th in Defensive Box +/-16th in Defensive Rating8th in Assist %9th in Steal %3rd in Triple-Doubles

Murray’s two-way talent will be a big test for the New York Knicks’ new backcourt.


San Antonio Spurs Predicted Lineup

G - Dejounte Murray | G - Derrick White | F - Doug McDermott | F - Keldon Johnson | C - Jakob Poeltl


Knicks vs Spurs Match Prediction

The New York Knicks seem to play better away from Madison Square Garden, with wins over the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks. However, the San Antonio Spurs have been the in-form team over the last two weeks, with very significant wins over top-tier teams.

The San Antonio Spurs could squeeze by Tom Thibodeau’s squad on Tuesday.


Where to watch the Knicks vs Spurs game

The NBA League Pass will stream the game live. Local coverage of the matchup between the New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs is available via Bally Sports San Antonio and MSG Networks.


Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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