The New York Knicks and the San Antonio Spurs will see each other twice in a span of a week starting Thursday night. On the middle leg of their trip through the Texas teams, the Knicks (18-17) have a bad taste in their mouth leftover from their collapse on Tuesday in Dallas that saw them fall to the Mavericks 126-121 in overtime. On paper, the Spurs (11-23) appear to be just the right remedy after such a loss. Still, New York shouldn’t dismiss them that easily.
Watch the Spurs vs Knicks Game
- When: Thursday, December 29, 2022
- Start Time: 7 p.m. CT
- Location: AT&T Center – San Antonio, TX
- Spurs TV Channel: Bally Sports Southwest – San Antonio
- Spurs Radio Broadcast: 1200 WOAI AM (English) / 1350 AM KXTN (Spanish)
- Moneyline: Spurs (+185) | Knicks (-215)
- Over/Under: 226 (-110)
- Spread: Knicks -5.5
Spurs vs Knicks Injury Report
San Antonio appears to be finally recovering from the injury bug that plagued them through November and half of December. The roster is near full health as Blake Welsey was the last straggler dealing with a significant injury. Per Project Spurs’ Paul Garcia on Wednesday, Wesley has been placed on assignment with the Austin Spurs along with two-way contract players Charles Bassey and Dominick Barlow. Questionable for Thursday with stiffness and soreness are Devin Vassell (left knee), Keldon Johnson (lower back), and Doug McDermott (right knee).
Spurs injury report for Thursday vs Knicks:
Vassell (left knee soreness)
Keldon (low back stiffness)
McDermott (right knee soreness)
— Paul Garcia (@PaulGarciaNBA) December 28, 2022
The visiting Knicks will be entering the Alamo City a bit hobbled as Obi Toppin and RJ Barrett are already listed “out” along with Trevor Keels. Star point guard Jalen Brunson is questionable for the game as he continues to recover from a hip injury. He was sorely missed in Tuesday’s loss against his former team, the Mavericks.
Spurs vs Knicks Preview
Given the injury report, Spurs vs Knicks game may come down to who plays better without their stars. Julius Randle has been the leader in New York this season and played his part on Tuesday with Barrett exiting the game early and Brunson sitting out. He was everywhere, scoring 29 points and pulling down 18 rebounds. Randle connected on 45 percent of his 11 shots from beyond the arc. Defensively, he helped keep Dallas’ Christian Wood in check, though the team had no answer for Luka Doncic in the second half. Randle was supported well by guard Quentin Grimes. He led the team with 33 points, 20 more than his season average.
San Antonio doesn’t have a talent equal to Doncic, a strong candidate for MVP this year, but they can make up for it in team play. If Vassell, Johnson, and McDermott all don’t play, however, the Spurs will have their work cut out for them. The trio represents the majority of the team’s perimeter shooting, as well as so much of the athleticism. With Jakob Poeltl, Jeremy Sochan, and Zach Collins now back and healthy, the Spurs will have to get to work in the paint in an old-fashion “grind it out” game. Fortunately, they are well equipped to do so. San Antonio ranks in the top 10 in scoring in the paint, posting a fourth-best 48 percent of their points down low.
One player to watch for the Spurs is Stanley Johnson. He could see an expanded role if head coach Gregg Popovich rests Vassell, McDermott, and Keldon. In his seven games since joining San Antonio, Johnson has impressed defensively while finding his fit offensively. A top-10 pick in 2015, he has averaged 16 minutes in the last five games, averaging 7.5 points per night. For the Knicks, Quentin Grimes surely hopes to put together another great performance. Before his outburst the other night, he averaged 13 points per night in New York’s previous five games,