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5 things to watch for in tonight’s Spurs vs. Knicks matchup

The San Antonio Spurs (25-12) will host the New York Knicks (18-20) tonight as “Linsanity” invades the Alamo City. Tonight’s contest will be the only time the Spurs and Knicks will meet during this shortened season.

The Spurs come into tonight’s game off a rare home loss to the Nuggets where Manu Ginobili returned to action since suffering an abdominal injury. As for the Knicks, they are coming off a loss (three straight road losses) to the Mavericks last night in Dallas where the team blew a lead late in the fourth quarter.

For a complete preview of tonight’s matchup, check out Project Spurs’ Paul Garcia’s scouting report but as you get ready for tonight’s game, here are five things to keep your eye on.

  • The Alamo City hasn’t been kind to New York. The Knicks have lost eight straight against the Spurs in San Antonio. The last time New York beat the Spurs in San Antonio was in 2003.
  • Watch out for former Spur Steve Novak. Novak is fourth in the NBA in three point field goal percentage at 47%. He is also averaging 14.6 in his previous five games for New York. Spurs’ Matt Bonner is fifth in the NBA at 46%.
  • What’s this? The Knicks play better defense than the Spurs? Prior to the Knicks games against the Mavs last night, New York was allowing 94.9 points per game while San Antonio allows 95.1 points per game. Also, the Knicks hold their opponents field goal shooting to 44% per game while the Spurs hold their opponents to 45% per game.
  • Chandler can finish at the rim. Tyson Chandler leads the NBA in field goal percentage at 68%. Spurs’ DeJuan Blair comes in 12th in the league averaging 50.7%.
  • “Linsanity” cooling off. After a tremendous start to his Knicks debut, Jeremy Lin is shooting 27.5% shooting and 16 turnovers in New York’s three-game road losing streak.

Matchup to watch: Though many will be looking to the Tony Parker-Jeremy Lin matchup, tonight’s contest might come down to the bigs for both teams and in particular old rivals Tim Duncan vs. Amar’e Stoudemire.

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