The San Antonio Spurs continue their homestand by hosting the New York Knicks on the second night of a back-to-back. The Knicks enter this tie carrying a three-game winning streak while Gregg Popovich's men have lost two of their last three matchups.
Fixture: New York Knicks vs San Antonio Spurs | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Tuesday, March 2nd, 8:30 PM ET (Wednesday, 7 AM IST)
Venue: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
New York Knicks Preview
Many considered the New York Knicks' early season form to be an anomaly but nearly halfway through the season, they're looking like a lock-in for the playoffs. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has achieved this feat by establishing a high-energy defense which is hard to break down once set in the half-court. Julius Randle's emergence as an All-Star has also helped.
The front office nailed the draft by selecting Immanuel Quickley, who's quickly turned into a high-volume scorer. While other free agency acquisitions have been hit-or-miss, Nerlens Noel has been spectacular for the New York Knicks. He's made the most of the starter minutes he's receiving in the absence of Mitchell Robinson by averaging two blocks per game. He's set for an extended load against the San Antonio Spurs with Taj Gibson likely to miss out.
Key Player - Julius Randle
Julius Randle has established himself as the bonafide leader of the New York Knicks with his all-round performances. Averaging 23.4 points, 10.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game, he was rightfully selected as an All-Star reserve this season. Randle isn't the greatest rim protector but just his size and ability to clog up the paint will come in handy against the San Antonio Spurs who love to drive to the basket.
New York Knicks Predicted Lineup
G Derrick Rose, G Reggie Bullock, F RJ Barrett, F Julius Randle, C Nerlens Noel
San Antonio Spurs Preview
This year's San Antonio Spurs are the perfect blueprint for playing competitive basketball while developing younger stars. DeMar DeRozan still leads them in scoring but the likes of Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson have increased their production this year. The latter has missed a few games of late due to the health and safety protocols but is in line for a return against the New York Knicks. Derrick White, Rudy Gay and Devin Vassell still remain questionable though.
The San Antonio Spurs lost their most recent game against the Brooklyn Nets in overtime but scored 10 straight to stretch the game to overtime. Lonnie Walker scored a career-high five three-pointers and has started to look like a reliable spacer for the Spurs.
Key Player - Dejounte Murray
Dejounte Murray isn't the most accurate three-point shooter but the rest of his game on both ends of the court looks fairly neat. He's averaging 21.2 points on a 51.2% clip to go with his 6.4 assists and 7.8 rebounds in the last five games for the San Antonio Spurs. Murray's also managing 1.6 steals per game this season and his active hands could cause the New York Knicks some trouble since they don't move the ball that quickly.
San Antonio Spurs Predicted Lineup
G Dejounte Murray, G Lonnie Walker IV, F DeMar DeRozan, F Trey Lyles, C Jakob Poeltl
Knicks vs Spurs Match Prediction
The New York Knicks are playing their best basketball in over seven years. They're solid defensively and starting to improve in scoring matters. Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs are without several key players. They showcased a lack of energy in overtime in their previous outing and are unlikely to have recovered much heading into the second night of this back-to-back. Expect Julius Randle and co. to emerge victorious here.
Where to watch Knicks vs Spurs?
Local coverage of the game will be available on MSG Network and FOX Sports Southwest. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.