It was a disappointing offseason for the New York Knicks. Let missed out on top free agents but were able to put together a professional roster after a 17-65 season. They will open on the road against the San Antonio Spurs.
The dream of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Zion Williamson did not come true in the Garden. Instead, the Knicks landed the third overall draft pick and selected RJ Barrett. The former Blue Devil joins the young core of Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Allonzo Trier, and Dennis Smith Jr.
Dejounte Murray received a four-year $64 million deal to remain in San Antonio. He is coming off a torn ACL which forced him to miss last season. Getting Murray back to pair with DeMar DeRozan is an extreme positive for the Spurs.
Knicks vs. Spurs Preview
The Knicks added some veterans in the offseason to pair with their young pieces. Julius Randle was the big signing in New York and is expected to bring star power to the team. The Knicks also added Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis, and Taj Gibson.
Despite the complete overhaul, the expectations in MSG are still low. The Knicks o/u on season wins was set at just 26.5. The East is extremely top heavy so the Knicks are hoping to sneak in near the bottom of the playoff bracket but it is highly unlikely.
DeRozan’s first season in San Antonio was a success. He built his name as an elite mid-range player and did not disappoint. DeRozan averaged 21.2 points per game while shooting 48.3% from the field. He attempted just 45 three-point shots last season.
LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the league’s best big men and has been for a long time. The duo provides hope for a championship franchise. The key to this season will be how Murray bounces back from major knee surgery. The Washington product was viewed as the point guard of the future before suffering a torn ACL. If Murray can return to full health, the 23-year old will be a huge asset.
Knicks vs. Spurs Pick & Prediction
It is impossible to judge the Knicks off last season. They won 17 games averaging 104.6 points per game in a season where they were clearly eyeing the draft. They did not land the top pick but they did get a pretty good prospect in Barrett.
In typical Knicks’ fashion, they excited the fan base with rumors of being all in on some of the big name free agents and ripped their hearts out when they went to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. This is a professional team for the first time in a long time. They should win 30 games this season which means they will hit the future over.
In this game, the Spurs are 10-point favorites at home according to FanDuel Sportsbook. It is hard to beat a Spurs’ team that never loses at home. They finished 32-9 on their home court a season ago. It should be an entertaining game with plenty of storylines but are we ready to bet on the Knicks on the road? Especially in game one?
PICK: Spurs -10
SCORE PREDICTION: Spurs 122, Knicks 108