The New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs open their seasons with an October 23, 2019 showdown at the AT&T Center.
The New York Knicks’ went home empty-handed again during the 2019 free agency. The Knicks were unable to land any of the year’s top free agents with the likes of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant choosing to sign for the other New York team-Brooklyn. However, New York was able to sign serviceable players who can help their young players develop.
New York added the likes of Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, and Wayne Ellington to help their young players like Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr, and rookie R.J. Barrett. The hopes are high especially for Barrett, who has shown up for the Knicks during the preseason.
New York was 28th in the league in scoring at 104.6 points per game last season. The Knicks were 20th in rebounding at 44.7 boards grabbed per contest and they were 30th in passing at only 20.1 assists per game. The Knicks were in the bottom 10 in the league in scoring defense at 113.8 points per game allowed.
Odds from Spinsports as of 10/21/19
Spurs Playoff Streak
The San Antonio Spurs head to this season with their playoff streak intact. Last season, San Antonio made the postseason for the 22nd consecutive time. They achieved that feat without the remaining three key players from their championship runs. Manu Ginobili retired on August 2018, Longtime point guard Tony Parker signed with the Charlotte Hornets during the offseason while Kawhi Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors.
The Spurs acquired DeMar DeRozan from the Leonard trade. DeRozan became a more complete player in San Antonio and he teamed up with LaMarcus Aldridge to help the Spurs remain competitive despite missing starting point guard Dejounte Murray the whole year due to injury. Murray is back this year and San Antonio also acquired veteran DeMarre Carroll to a lineup that also has Rudy Gay, Patty Mills, Marco Belinelli, Bryn Forbes, and Derrick White returning.
San Antonio ranked 18th in the NBA in scoring at 111.7 points per game last season. The Spurs were 21st in rebounding at 44.7 boards per outing and they were 16th in assists at 24.5 dimes per contest. The Spurs allowed an average of 110.0 points per game which was 12th best in the league last season.
The Knicks are 4-16 SU in their last 20 games played and are -9.5 NBA betting underdogs against the Spurs in this contest. New York is 1-9 SU in their last 10 games played on the road. The Spurs are 2-4 SU in their last six games played. San Antonio is 16-3 SU in their last 19 games played at home. Head to head, the Spurs are 7-3 SU in their last 10 meetings and San Antonio is 5-0 SU in their last five home games against the Knicks.
This is another rebuilding season for the Knicks. New York was unable to land the big fishes in the free agency market yet again and they settled for guys like Julius Randle and Marcus Morris. Nothing against both but while they are excellent complementary players, they aren’t superstar materials and what the Knicks need right now is a superstar to take over the team.
R.J. Barrett has looked impressive during the preseason and he may be the Knicks’ next messiah. With the likes of Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox, there is plenty of young talent in New York. However, they play a San Antonio team that depends on their system more than their players. As stated above, San Antonio has not missed the playoffs since the 1996-97 season and while Gregg Popovich is still calling the shots, the Spurs will always be a playoff team.
San Antonio meanwhile, will return almost the same lineup that won 48 games last season. DeMar DeRozan blossomed under Coach Pop while LaMarcus Aldridge has been solid since he arrived. The signing of DeMarre Carroll and the return of Dejounte Murray should make San Antonio the definite pick here. I’m picking the San Antonio Spurs to beat the New York Knicks on 10/23/19.
Prediction: San Antonio Spurs
Spread Betting Odds
New York is 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games played. The Knicks are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games against the Eastern Conference and 1-4 ATS in their last five games against the Southwest Division. San Antonio is 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played and the Spurs are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the Atlantic Division. Head to head, the Spurs are 3-1 ATS in their last three meetings.
Odds from Spinsports as of 10/21/19
The Spurs have outscored the Knicks by an average of 6.0 points per game in their last 10 meetings and 7.67 points per game in their last three games played. The Knicks finished their preseason with a 1-3 record. But they lost to the Pelicans by one point and dropped a four-point contest to the Hawks. Their third loss of the season was a 99-115 loss to the Wizards, a team which they also beat in their only preseason win. I mean the Knicks are still going to be the Knicks but at least, they have shown during the preseason that they are a team that can compete. I like the Spurs to win here but not by double-digits against a fighting New York team. San Antonio is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games as home favorites of 9.5 or more points.
Prediction: Knicks +9.5