NBA Basketball
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Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
New York 15 36 33 27 111
San Antonio 22 37 24 37 120
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5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)02:3020:30 ET7:30 PM CT23:30 , October 23, 2019
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas  Attendance: 18,354

Spurs set to open vs. new-look Knicks

According to STATS
According to STATS

New York Knicks at San Antonio Spurs

  1. Since 2000-01, the Spurs have the NBA's best record at 1082-460 (.702). The Knicks are an NBA-worst 622-920 (.403), losing exactly twice as many games at San Antonio over this span. San Antonio has posted 22 consecutive winnings seasons while New York has six straight losing campaigns.
  2. San Antonio has won four of its last five games against New York, outscoring the Knicks, on average, 110.4-101.8 in these games. The Spurs have taken the last five meetings in San Antonio, holding the Knicks under 100 points in four of those five games.
  3. The Spurs led the NBA in three-point percentage last season at 39.2 percent while having the lowest three-point rate (percent of field-goal attempts are threes) at 28.6 percent.
  4. Julius Randle averaged a career-high 21.4 points in 2018-19, posting a 55.5 effective field-goal percentage. Randle attempted 195 three-pointers last season, shooting a career-best 34.4 percent from deep. Prior to 2018-19, Randle had attempted a total of 144 triples across four seasons.
  5. DeMar Derozan attempted 45 three-pointers in his first season with San Antonio after taking 287 the year prior with Toronto. His decrease from 3.6 attempts per game in 2017-18 to 0.6 per game in 2018-19 (-3.0) was the largest in the NBA (played in at least 70% of team games both seasons).
  6. Since 2010-11, LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 21.2 points and 9.0 rebounds. He is one of five players with averages of 20.0+ points and 8.0+ rebounds in this span (min. 300 games), along with Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Blake Griffin and DeMarcus Cousins.

The San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks took decidedly different tacks to get to the opening of the 2019-20 NBA season, which begins for both on Wednesday night when the teams square off in San Antonio.

The traditionally non-flashy Spurs mostly stood pat in the player department, and the Knicks, coming off a franchise-worst-tying 17-65 campaign, all but remade their roster.

With a core of center/forward LaMarcus Aldridge, shooting guard DeMar DeRozan and point guard Derrick White, San Antonio went 48-34 last season and pushed the second-seeded Denver Nuggets to seven games before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs.

It was the 22nd consecutive trip to the playoffs for the Spurs, which extended their NBA record.

San Antonio's biggest addition, third-year guard Dejounte Murray, was with the team last year but missed the entire campaign with a knee injury suffered in the preseason. On Monday, the team signed Murray to a contract extension reported to be for four years and $64 million.

The Spurs added forwards Trey Lyles and DeMarre Carroll to bolster the frontcourt and resigned Rudy Gay.

San Antonio can send a variety of lineups to the court depending how it wants to match up with its opponents. The roster is loaded with guards and contains a mix of veterans and youthful players, all fully invested into coach Gregg Popovich's defense-first scheme.

"It feels good going into the season with the depth that we have, the bodies that we have and being dynamic and be able to in any combination that we feel fits," DeRozan said. "Everybody is understanding of their role, their plays, and the type of style that we have to play, and is aware and understands what is asked of them."

Popovich was asked last week if he had seen any improvement in the team's defense since the start of training camp.

"Not yet," he replied in his typical fashion. "We still stink."

Don't expect that situation to continue. New York could face the brunt of the Spurs' continuing steps toward improvement.

The Knicks have fallen short of the postseason for the past six years and haven't played meaningful games after March 1 in five of those. In 2018-19, New York's record was the league's worst.

That dismal performance earned the Knicks the third overall pick in the draft, which turned into former Duke star RJ Barrett, who is just 19 years old. New York also signed free agent Julius Randle, and those two players, along with Dennis Smith Jr., could be difference-makers for the Knicks.

"We're building," Randle said. "It's going to take time, but I like where we're going. We just have to have patience. The process is going to take time, but we're going to get there."

Knicks coach David Fizdale said he has a good mix of talented players.

"I don't have a gauge or number, but I do think this team can be a lot better," Fizdale said. "The guys all add a different skill set that we didn't have before. We added more shooting, couple more playmakers, we got some guys that can post. I feel like this team is maybe further ahead than last year's team."

--Field Level media

Updated October 22, 2019

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