With today’s news that F Tim Duncan will miss the rest of the regular season following his 3rd ankle sprain of the year, there was no greater proof of San Antonio’s difficulty competing without their MVP than the Spurs being humbled at MSG by the decidedly average Knicks, 88-75.

Malik Rose (above, guarded by the player he was traded for, Nazr Mohammed) gained a measure of revenge against his former club, scoring 18 points and collecting 7 rebounds. Stephon Marbury scored 31 for New York.

Earlier Monday, David Stern announced that the NBDL will expand to 4 Southwestern cities for the 2005-2006 season, CSTB’s HQ of Austin, TX being amongst them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about this. The team will play at Austin’s formless, SXSW-tastic Convention Center, and any excuse to spend next autumn & winter dumping on hardworking NBA hopefuls making minimum wage is only a good thing where this blog is concerned. Whether or not Austin will support such an endeavor, well…I’m no Isiah Thomas, but surely Commissioner Stern and staff have taken into account that in this football-loony town, the University of Texas’ basketball program struggles to fill the Erwin Center, and the other local minor league franchises (the CHL’s Ice Bats and the AFL’s Wranglers) have played before their share of empty chairs, too.

Anyhow, I am hopeful that the NBDL will pay homage to this city’s tremendous musical heritage and shall name the team the Austin Stegalls.