Game #53: Spurs vs. 76ers preview

The San Antonio Spurs (31-21, 12-11 away) continue their current road trip tonight in Philadelphia against the 76ers (20-33, 9-17 home).  The game starts at 7 est/6 cst and can be seen on FSN Southwest and heard on 1200 WOAI-AM.

Season Series: San Antonio 97, Philadelphia 89, Nov. 29 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.  Tonight’s game is the last time these two teams will play this season.

Trends: The Spurs have won 6 out of the last 10 overall and are 4-3 through 7 games of a 9 game road trip.

The 76ers have won 5 of the last 10 but have lost the last 2 games after winning 5 in a row.  They have lost 4 of their last 7 home games.

Leading scorers and other notable players: Tim Duncan is the highest scorer for the Spurs at 19.1 points per game.  Andre Iguodala leads the 76ers attack, scoring 17 points per game.  The Sixers have 5 players who average 14 or more points, including All-Star Allen Iverson at 14.3 points per game.

The Philadelphia 76ers are a bad team.  Especially at home, where their 9-17 record is the 3rd worst in the NBA.  However, they are also a young team with great athletes.  Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young are both very athletic and can create havoc in the open court.  Philadelphia is also a slightly better team with Allen Iverson in the lineup, going 9-14 with him and 11-19 without him.  While San Antonio should win, the 76ers have wins over Boston, Portland, Denver and Dallas, so just like the other night in Indianapolis, the game may be closer than you would expect.

In the Nov. 29 game, the Spurs had 18 turnovers and gave up 25 fast break points.  To win tonight, they’re going to have to limit the opportunities Philadelphia has to get layups and dunks.  They’ll also need to exploit a major depth advantage.  San Antonio had 3 players off the bench score in double figures last time these teams met, led by Matt Bonner’s 16, and overall their bench had a 49-15 scoring advantage on the Sixers.

Forecast: 47 percent chance of Ian Mahinmi.  I have a feeling Ian will play either tonight or against Detroit.

Sad news to report as Air Alamo favorite and Matthew Svoboda Award winner (given to the player whose contributions during a game most closely resemble mine) Theo Ratliff was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats for a protected 2016 2nd round draft pick.  What that means, is that the Spurs will only get the pick, if it is 56th or later.  Most likely, this also means that Theo Ratliff was traded for nothing.  Here is a clip from his last game as a Spur:

Thanks for the memories, Theo!

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