AT&T CENTER - After defeating the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, the San Antonio Spurs (25-7) host the other New York team, the Knicks (9-21) tonight. Before tip-off, Knicks forward Andrea Bargnani spoke with Project Spurs about his fellow Italian countryman Marco Belinelli who joined the Spurs in the summer via free agency.
Most international players from the same country usually have prior knowledge of each other from their days at home in their original country. Such is the case for Belinelli and Bargnani.
"I've known him forever," said Bargnani of knowing Belinelii prior to the NBA in Italy.
Asked if he's seen how Belinelli's doing with the Spurs two months in, Bargnani said though he doesn't specifically watch their games, he knows from afar they're doing well.
"I know the Spurs are doing pretty good. They're playing very good with a great system. I don't watch every game of the Spurs, I don't know specifically about Marco but I think he's playing very good."
For some new Spurs players, it sometimes takes a year or two to learn the system on both sides of the ball. This season, Belinelli almost looks like a perfect fit and even in past interviews Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has made similar remarks. Bargnani says it's because of Belinelli's ability to adapt in new environments.
"II think he's a smart player and experience with a smart player makes him able to adjust everywhere he goes."
Here's footage of Bargnani warming up prior to tip-off:
Follow Paul for in-game commentary and post-game coverage.