Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. New York Knicks – Game #31

The San Antonio Spurs will look to bounce back from an overtime loss on Monday night when they take on the New York Knicks tonight in the AT&T Center. The Spurs (17-13) have alternated wins and losses in their last four outings, while the Knicks (18-17) have won four straight games.

As it stands, despite having the better record, the Spurs are the sixth seed in the Western Conference and the Knicks are the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

LaMarcus Aldridge will miss tonight’s game with a stomach illness. Expect Drew Eubanks to take his spot as the team’s backup center.

Four players are out due to COVID-19 protocols: Derrick White, Rudy Gay, Devin Vassell and Quinndary Weatherspoon.

Keldon Johnson has been sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols but he’s questionable for the game against the Knicks. He was questionable before last night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets before being a late scratch.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

If Keldon Johnson is able to play, expect him to start alongside Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl. If Johnson is held out once again, Trey Lyles will likely get the start at power forward instead.

Since Johnson missed last game due to conditioning issues, there’s also a chance that head coach Gregg Popovich opts to bring him back slowly by bringing him off the bench.

The New York Knicks are Rolling

It’s rare to see the Knicks play this well for this long. In their last nine games, they have seven wins. New York is led by Julius Randle, who has earned a spot in the All-Star game this year. The 26-year-old is averaging 23.4 points, 10.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists. The power forward leads the Knicks in all three of those categories.

RJ Barrett, the third pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, has also had a productive season. The 20-year-old is averaging 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 33.4 minutes per game.

Spurs vs. Knicks – How the Spurs Can Win

The Spurs will be playing their second game in two nights. To beat the Knicks, they need a strong performance from their bench. Considering that San Antonio will be without at least four rotation players (five if Johnson can’t play), getting quality production from the second unit is no easy task. Patty Mills has been reliably this year but the Spurs need someone other than him to also step up and provide quality minutes from off the bench.