The San Antonio Spurs are officially in their longest losing streak of the Gregg Popovich era. That can all end tonight with a win against the New York Knicks.
Few teams in the NBA have been as disappointing as the San Antonio Spurs through the first month of the season. The Golden State Warriors join the Spurs at the bottom of the Western Conference but at least they can point to injuries as the cause of their struggles. Frankly, the Eastern Conference equivalent of the Spurs might be the team they face tonight.
Whether it was feigned confidence or misplaced optimism, the New York Knicks front office truly believed that they had a shot to make the playoffs. They emphasized the short gap between themselves and the 8th seed in the East in their impromptu press conference back in early November. They’ve come up well short of those lofty goals.
Here we are just a short while later with the Spurs going through the longest losing streak of the Gregg Popovich era, with every loss pushing that historic 23rd playoff appearance further and further away. Meanwhile, the Knicks continue to Knick, but at least they’re playing better defense than the Spurs.
On paper, tonight’s game looks like a great chance for the Spurs to snap their losing streak. But it would be foolish to assume that this will be an easy win. San Antonio will be playing on the second night of a back to back and, despite walking away with a loss, showed as much effort in last night’s game against the Sixers as they have all season.
San Antonio will be going for the season sweep tonight. That opening night win seems ages ago. The end result will hopefully be the same but the recipe for success for San Antonio will likely be different.
On opening night the Spurs were led by Bryn Forbes, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Dejounte Murray. Tonight, as they have for the past few nights, the Spurs should call on DeMar DeRozan to lead them to victory. Defensive deficiencies aside, DeRozan remains the most consistent scoring option the Spurs have.
On defense, San Antonio will need to key in on RJ Barrett, Marcus Morris, and Kevin Knox. Knox was the up and coming star for the Knicks last year but has largely been forgotten as the national attention has shifted to Barrett. But he’s knocking down 40 percent of his three-point shots this year and could be in a position to torch the Spurs if San Antonio doesn’t give him the attention he deserves.
Gameday bets and prediction
Spread: San Antonio Spurs -2
Player prop bets: None available.
All betting information courtesy of The Action Network.
I thought the Spurs would beat the Washington Wizards earlier this week. They ended up giving up 138 points. San Antonio has had teams go off against them night after night in this losing streak. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see at least one New York Knicks player set a new career-high tonight. The Spurs are coming into this one after a very hard-fought game last night. They’ve got to be tired and maybe looking forward to going back to San Antonio after this game is finally over. I have serious doubts about the Spurs’ ability to pull this one out.
A positive spin on this one is that there isn’t really a negative outcome either way. If the Spurs win they’ve finally snapped their losing streak. However, a loss could be exactly the motivation the front office and coaching staff need to consider making a move or drastically restructuring rotations. It also gets San Antonio a little bit closer to drafting James Wiseman.
Things could get a whole lot worse before they get better. The Spurs do get to head back to San Antonio after this one but their next three games come against the Lakers, Timberwolves, and Clippers. If the losing streak doesn’t end tonight it wouldn’t be shocking to see it extend into the double-digits.