Tonight will be another chance for NBA fans to watch one of the most promising young European players, a towering Latvian capable of swatting shots on one end as he is of raining three-pointers on the other. But enough about Davis Bertans.
Kristaps Porzingis, the other Latvian in the NBA, is in his third season, still just 22, and already a legitimate star. He’s a top-10 scorer (nearly 25 points per game) and top-three shot-blocker, and already has New York forgetting about trading away former face of the franchise Carmelo Anthony.
With Porzingis coming into his own, the return from the Melo trade (Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott) contributing, and a number of reserves stepping up (hello, Michael Beasley), the Knicks have remained competitive in a tough Eastern Conference.
San Antonio Spurs (24-11) vs. New York Knicks (18-16)
December 28, 2017 | 7:30 PM CT
Watch: FSSW | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)
Spurs injuries: Kawhi Leonard (return from injury management)
Knicks injuries: Tim Hardaway Jr. (leg)
The Spurs have one of the league’s better power forward-center duos in Aldridge and Gasol, but they’ll have their hands full tonight. Porzingis is a tough matchup for anyone, thanks to his shooting and athleticism, and it’ll be interesting who outside of Aldridge gets the assignment. Gasol, meanwhile, will be looking to keep Kanter out of the paint and off the offensive glass.
The Spurs announced on Wednesday that Kawhi Leonard was probable to play tonight. The team has been known to change things closer to tip-off, but the fact that they’re taking the bubble wrap off their franchise star is a good sign that he’s responded well to his first five games and the gradually increasing playing time.
Vegas odds: Spurs by 11.5.
Game prediction: Spurs by 6.
For the Knicks fan’s perspective, visit Posting and Toasting.
As always, Tony must dominate Fisher.
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