NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, November 15th
(All times Eastern)
New York Knicks (5-0) at San Antonio Spurs (7-1), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The two best teams in the NBA meet Thursday night when the
New York Knicks, the league's last remaining undefeated team, visit the Spurs
in San Antonio.
The Knicks, whose best start to a season was a 7-0 open to the 1993-94
campaign, are the league's best defensive team. They are the first team in the
shot-clock era to hold its opponents to 40 points or less in the second half
of each of their five games. New York opponents average a paltry 38.6 ppg in
the second half.
The offense hasn't been too shabby, either.
The Knicks rank second in scoring and made 43 3-pointers in their first three
games, which was an NBA record. Carmelo Anthony leads the NBA in scoring at
26.8 ppg and this has all lead to a dominant start for the Knickerbockers.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Knicks are the third team in NBA
history to win the first five games of the season, all by double-digit
New York came from behind to beat the Orlando Magic 99-89 on Tuesday. That
started a three-game road trip for the Knicks, which continues Thursday and
comes to an end Friday against the tough Memphis Grizzlies.
"It's only five games into the season," said Anthony. "We have a long way to
go. We have a full season ahead of us."
The Knicks will face their toughest challenge on Thursday. They have lost nine
straight in San Antonio and the Spurs just completed a 3-1 West Coast trip.
The Spurs moved to 7-1 for the seventh time in franchise history. The last
time they started with such an impressive mark was way back in the 2010-11
The Spurs handed the Los Angeles Lakers their first loss since Mike Brown was
fired on Tuesday, 84-82. Danny Green nailed a go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.3
seconds on the clock to give San Antonio its third straight win.
"Any road win is always sweet," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, whose
team leads the NBA with four victories away from the AT&T Center. "We executed
the play very well. Of course, you still have to knock it down and Danny did.
Timmy (Duncan) set a great screen. It worked out for us."
Tony Parker, who missed the previous game with a stomach flu, led the way for
the Spurs against the Lakers with 19 points and seven assists. The venerable
Duncan chipped in with 18 points, nine boards, four assists and four blocks.
Eleven different Spurs played in their West-Coast finale and Gary Neal was the
only one of the 11 who didn't score. Parker, Duncan and Green were the only
Spurs to play longer than 30 minutes.
In addition to winning nine in a row at home against the Knicks, the Spurs
have won 11 of the last 13 overall meetings between the two teams, including
11/15 10:31:15 ET