Preview: San Antonio Spurs at New York Knicks – Game #38

The San Antonio Spurs will try to bounce back after a demoralizing loss tonight against the New York Knicks. In San Antonio’s previous outing, they got rocked by the Brooklyn Nets by a final score of 139-103. The Nets blew the game open in the second quarter and the Spurs never made it a competitive contest after that point.

Less than a week ago, the Spurs beat the Knicks by the final count of 122-115 to send New York to their fifth straight loss. Since then, the Knicks have won two straight games. First, they beat the Houston Rockets. Then, they followed that up with a more impressive victory against the Phoenix Suns.

The Spurs, on the other hand, have lost two games since beating the Knicks. In addition to the Nets debacle, the Spurs lost a close one to the Dallas Mavericks. In that game, in which the Mavs won 126-125, Luka Doncic had 51 points and nine assists.

On the season, the Spurs are 12-25. They have the second worst record in the Western Conference and the fourth worst record in the NBA. The Knicks are 20-18, which has them tied for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Keita Bates-Diop remains out with an illness. He has only played in two of the last five Spurs games. 

Unfortunately, Devin Vassell is also back on the injury report. He played against the Nets but he’s apparently still dealing with troublesome knee soreness. For tonight’s game versus the Knicks, Vassell is listed as questionable. He has already missed eight games this season.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

With Devin Vassell questionable, we won’t know the exact starting lineup for the Spurs until it’s time for the opening tip. We can confidently say that Tre Jones will start at point guard, Keldon Johnson will start at small forward, Jeremy Sochan will start at power forward and Jakob Poeltl will start at center. 

If Vassell is a go, he will probably start at shooting guard. Then again, head coach Gregg Popovich could bring Vassell off the bench to better manage his knee soreness.

If Vassell sits out or if Popovich has him coming off the bench, expect Romeo Langford to start. When Vassell missed a pair of recent games, Langford started both times.

Off the bench, the most interesting thing to watch is whether Stanley Johnson is in the rotation. He had been in the rotation until last game, when he was out of the regular rotation against the Nets (see the Grades).

Betting Guide: Spurs at Nets

The Knicks are favored tonight by 9.5 points and the over/under is at 225.5 points. The smart money tonight is on the over. San Antonio doesn’t have a good defense but their offense had been consistent recently until the Nets disaster. Add together the Spurs sub par defense and an offense looking to get back in gear and that 225.5 points spread should be easy to clear — especially when you consider the two teams combined for 237 points when they met less than a week ago.