5 things to watch: Spurs vs. CSKA Moscow


The San Antonio Spurs (0-0) get their preseason going tonight as they host CSKA Moscow at the AT&T Center as part of CSKA's U.S. Tour 2013.

CSKA is coming off a 108-106 overtime win over Minnesota marking it the second time ever that a foreign team has beaten an NBA team on U.S. soil. Milos Teodosic finished with 26 points and nine assists.

CSKA is not to be taken lightly as they are one of the premier teams overseas and boast former NBA player Nenad Krstic.

"It's a good check-up for us. It's good to see where we are and to find our game before our real season starts," Krstic explained. "For some of our players, it's their first time playing against an NBA team; it's a new experience."

As for the Spurs, they will get their first game to look at the new additions, such as Marco Belinelli and Jeff Ayers, and how they mesh with the team against an opponent. Not to mention get a solid gauge on what the team needs to focus on before the season kicks off.

And as San Antonio kicks off their slate of preseason games, here are five things to watch for during tonight's game.

• The battle for the back up forward spot. Corey Maggette and Sam Young are both fighting for a spot to back up forward Kawhi Leonard. The two both look good in the team's recent scrimmage. Tonight they'll get to show what they got versus different competition.

• Belinelli and Ayers. They say it takes quite some time to adjust to the Spurs' system, so with a full training camp and preseason ahead of the two newest Spurs, their learning curve is something to keep an eye on.

• The back up point guard spot. Cory Joseph, Patty Mills an Nando De Colo will be fighting for minutes backing up Tony Parker. Some feel it's Cory's to lose.

• Parker's health. TP says he feels fine but with a long summer of basketball with Team France and now Spurs training camp, giving No. 9 rest might be what the doctor prescribes.

• The team's mental state. Throughout the summer, almost all Spurs players have been dealing with losing in the NBA Finals after seeing it slip their fingers in Game 6 versus Miami. Can this team put that behind them and forge ahead?

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