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Sunday, November 10, 2013
W2W4: Knicks vs. Spurs

By Ian Begley

Here are a few things to keep an eye on during today's Knicks-Spurs game:

Welcome back, J.R.: Reigning Sixth Man Award winner J.R. Smith makes his season debut for the Knicks on Sunday after serving a five-game suspension for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy.

The Knicks hope Smith can help boost an offense that enters play Sunday ranked 17th in offensive efficiency, a measure of points scored per 100 possessions. The Knicks ranked third in this category last season.

Smith will come off the bench on Sunday, but don't be surprised if he supplants Iman Shumpert at shooting guard at some point this season.

Battle of the boards: The Knicks held their own on the boards on Friday in their first game without Tyson Chandler. They were outrebounded by Charlotte, 41-37, but took 14 more shots than the Bobcats.

Things may be a bit more difficult for New York on Sunday. San Antonio leads the NBA in defensive rebounding rate, which is a measure of the percentage of your opponent's missed shots that you rebound.

Can Bargs keep it up? Andrea Bargnani had his best game as a Knick on Friday. He scored 25 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had five blocks against the Bobcats. The Knicks are going to need similar production from the seven footer throughout Chandler's absence if they hope to stay afloat.

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