New York Knicks

In a serious early season measuring mark game, the New York Knicks welcome in the San Antonio Spurs to Madison Square Garden.

New York Knicks (2-1)
San Antonio Spurs (2-1)
NBA, Monday 7:30 PM ET
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

By Chip Murphy

If you look at the recent history of both the New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs, you might think that these two teams don’t even belong in the same sport. The Spurs have been in the playoffs for 18 straight seasons. San Antonio has won 50 game in 16 straight seasons, an NBA record. Somehow, inexplicably, the Knicks have won three of the last four against the perennial championship contender at The Garden. Tonight the new look Knicks are upset minded as they look to make it four out of five.

Head coach Derek Fisher announced that New York will have the same starting lineup as the prior three games, thus confirming that Arron Afflalo is still not available. There is still no definitive timetable on his return. Although Fisher says that he is getting closer to returning, according to’s Ian Begley.

Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points in the Knicks previous win over the Washington Wizards on Halloween night in a huge early win. Anthony quieted the early season doubters about his health and will look to continue that momentum going tonight when he is matched up against arguably the game’ best two-way player, Kawhi Leonard. Leonard has developed the last two to three seasons into the best on the ball defender on the league. Melo will have his hands full tonight.

This will be one of rookie Kristaps Porzingis’ biggest tests all season long as he and Robin Lopez are matched up with new Spur LaMarcus Aldridge and very old Spur Tim Duncan.

Then of course their is the coaching matchup. Fisher will have his hands full try to match wits with the best coach in the league, Gregg Poppovich, the future leader of Team USA Basketball. Even Fisher was quick to praise Coach Pop for two of his trademark attributes.

The Knicks are facing a championship caliber team tonight. When they went up against Atlanta on the road they faltered. It won’t be like that in this one. The Spurs are like Duke. Everyone is on their game when they go one on one with the Spurs. Tonight is the biggest test of the Knicks’ early season. It should be a good one.

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.