On Wednesday night, the San Antonio Spurs (15-6) take on the New York Knicks (4-19) at AT&T Center. The game is their second of their back-to-back set, after they lost to the Utah Jazz last night. Tony Parker (hamstring), Tim Duncan (rest) and Manu Ginobili (rest) are all questionable. Kawhi Leonard is out for tonight’s game with a bruised hand. Carmelo Anthony is out tonight for New York with knee soreness.
Below are some keys to the Spurs winning the game:
1. Push Tempo
While the San Antonio Spurs might have the stereotype of being an aging team with non athletes, they should push the tempo. The Knicks struggle to score (26th in NBA), if the Spurs push the tempo they should be able to surpass the 100 point mark, which would give them a chance to win the game. The Knicks are 0-11 when allowing the opposition to score over 100 points.
With the possibility of Duncan, Ginobili and Parker missing along with Leonard, it is important for the Spurs role players to step up. The Spurs will need to shoot the three well, with their stars potentially missing the game, if they want to win. Danny Green and Marco Belinelli, two of the better Spurs shooters will have to play well and do a bit more than the usual. Combining for 30 points and a few three point shots is a good start for the Spurs to have a chance.
3. Manu Ginobili Should Bounce Back
With Parker potentially missing the game, Ginobili will once again have a big role, if he plays. He is listed as questionable (rest) for tonight’s game as well. Last night Ginobili had one of the worst shooting nights of his career (3-17) and he had 4 turnovers. After a poor game I expect Ginobili to turn it around and have a terrific game.