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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. New York Knicks

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The surging Knicks are riding a three-game winning streak into San Antonio, where the Spurs remain unbeaten.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs. New York Knicks

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
January 8, 2016, 7:30 p.m. Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

The stench of their 17-win season is slowly blowing away. The disappointment of free agency, which included Greg Monroe spurning the Big Apple for Mill-eh-wah-que, has dissipated. The boos of draft night are now just prelude for what's to come.

With a win in Miami two nights ago, the Knicks have already locked up a better record than a year ago. That followed an impressive home-and-away sweep against the Hawks and it has New York sniffing .500 once again. There's plenty for New York fans to be excited about.

By now you should be familiar with Kristaps Porzingis, the versatile Latvian big with a penchant for hip hop and put-back dunks. The rookie appears to be getting more and more acclimated to the NBA game as the season goes on, maybe most notably on the defensive end where he's bodying up post players and using all 90 feet of his wingspan to his advantage. Alongside Robin Lopez he forms a duo that can complicate things at the rim and aggressively crash the glass on both ends of the floor.

The Knicks have a staunch defense that's tied with San Antonio in three-point percentage allowed. With good size in the frontcourt, they've managed to force most opponents into beating them with long twos. That, of course, is an area in which the Spurs shine, so it'll be interesting to see how much Derek Fisher adjusts.

The two teams played at the beginning of the year in New York, a game which San Antonio won 94-84. The starters carried the offensive load, with Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus all scoring between 16 and 19. The Knicks were without Arron Afflalo then, who's been playing well as of late. There aren't too many shot creators on their team, so having a guy like Afflalo that can post up and get a decent look off at any moment definitely helps. They're something like 8-2 when he scores 16 or more points.

I have no idea if Tony will be suiting up to dominate Fisher as of this writing, or whether his DNPs should be more than just a mild concern at this point. We'll keep you updated once an announcement is made.

This could easily be a close game, and the Knicks won't be a pushover, but the Spurs have just looked too good playing in the AT&T Center. I think they get home win number 22 tonight but, just to be safe, please don't heckle Kristaps -- your boos will likely only fuel his power.

Matchup to watch: Melo's playing very well right now and won't have forgotten the 4 for 17 shooting night he had last time he faced Kawhi, but I'm not sure he has the legs to play all a strong two-way game against Leonard.

vs

San Antonio Spurs

(Record: 31-6)

New York Knicks

(Record:18-19)

January 8, 2016

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

7:30 PM CDT

TV: FSSW

Starters

Tony Parker*

PG

Jose Calderon

Danny Green

SG

Arron Afflalo

Kawhi Leonard

SF

Carmelo Anthony

LaMarcus Aldridge

PF

Kristaps Porzingis

Tim Duncan

C

Robin Lopez

Game prediction: Spurs by 14.

For the Knicks fans' perspective, visit Posting and Toasting.

As always (but with feeling this time) Tony must dominate Fisher.