New York Knicks

New York Knicks put up a valiant effort early, but in the end cannot compete with the far superior San Antonio Spurs led by Tim Duncan.

San Antonio Spurs 94 (3-1)
New York Knicks 84 (2-2)
Full Game Box Score
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

By Chip Murphy

The New York Knicks put up a valiant effort tonight, but found out they are still a few steps away from being able to compete with the San Antonio Spurs on any given night.

The perennial championship contenders came into Madison Square Garden and locked down the upset minded Knicks, holding them to just 36% shooting. Every time San Antonio looked like they would pull away New York would make a basket to ignite the crowd and slow their momentum. When it came down to it though, the Knicks could not push the machine-like Spurs out of their gameplan and they picked up the victory, 94-84.

Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard showed exactly why he is considered the best defensive player in the game as he shut down Carmelo Anthony, holding him to 4-of-17 shooting. The Knicks’ superstar managed just 19 points and was left to complain as Leonard made this highlight reel block.

With Arron Afflalo’s return still to be determined, Sasha Vujacic and Jose Calderon remain quite possibly the worst defensive starting back court in the NBA. The longer Afflalo is out the more the Calderon to the bench debate will continue. Once again he was not on the court at the end of the game, instead it was Langston Galloway and Jerian Grant.

Speaking of the bench Knicks’ bench, they were a strong asset yet again outscoring San Antonio’s 34-21. That was by far the biggest take away. Jerian Grant in particular had the best game of his short career with 12 points and 3 assists.

Fellow rookie Kristaps Porzingis had an interesting night as well. Despite putting together a couple of highlight reel plays he didn’t shoot the ball well, just 5 of 15. He did manage 13 points but more importantly grabbed 14 rebounds. He had one impressive shot block on Tony Parker. Once again, Porzingis struggled with foul trouble. That was to be expected against the veteran Spurs’ big men.

The Knicks will face another brutal opponent as their next game is on Wednesday at Cleveland against LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

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I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.