Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs (57-20) at Denver Nuggets (53-24)
Mar 27, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee (34) tips the ball in for a basket during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT
Both the San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets are banged up heading down the stretch and hope their health improves before the postseason. The Spurs are missing the services of sixth man Manu Ginobili (hamstring), All-Star poing guard Tony Parker (shin/neck), reserve big man Boris Diaw (back spasms), while reserve forward Stephen Jackson did not make the trip to Denver. Not having the three mentioned before Jackson as Spurs fans know are a big key to the offense. Ginobili’s ability to create his own shot and passing will be missed. Parker and Diaw’s ability to break down defender’s off the dribble.
The Spurs are going to rely on future Hall of Famer in Tim Duncan to be able to hit jumpers at the elbow, as well as Kawhi Leonard and the emergence of his offensive game. There is another player that in this time needs to step up and be more consistent on the offensive end, enter Danny Green.
With both teams having to deal with injuries they also still have plenty to play for until then.
Denver seeks a franchise-record 21st straight home victory Wednesday night in its quest for home-court advantage versus San Antonio, which is in a tight battle for the Western Conference’s top seed.
The Nuggets (53-24) have won 19 of 21 overall, but they’ve been forced to move forward without their two leading scorers. They lost Danilo Gallinari for the season due to a torn ACL suffered Thursday versus Dallas, and Ty Lawson has sat out four straight and seven of the last eight games with a plantar fascia tear in his right foot.
Lawson is hoping to return before the playoffs as Denver holds a slim lead on Memphis for the third seed. With the Los Angeles Clippers locked into a top-four seed due as a division winner, Denver or Memphis will end up as the No. 5 seed.
The Spurs, who have won nine of the last 12 meetings.
The previous three meetings between these two have been nothing short of entertaining. The season series is tied with both teams winning two. Their last meeting on March 27th, the Spurs to a thrilling 100-to-99 victory behind the heroics of Tim Duncan. Duncan finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Nuggets were led by JaVale McGee. McGee came off of the bench and put in 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field.
San Antonio (57-20) holds a slim lead on Oklahoma City for the West’s top spot, though it had dropped three of four prior to Saturday’s 99-97 win over Atlanta.
Point GuardsNando De Colo – Andre Miller
Shooting GuardsDanny Green – Andre Iguodala
Small ForwardsKawhi Leonard – Wilson Chandler
Power ForwardsTim Duncan – Kenneth Faried
CentersTiago Splitter – Kosta Koufas
Bench PlayersGary Neal, Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner – Corey Brewer, Javale McGee
GAME AND BROADCAST INFORMATION
When: April 9, 2013 at 9:30 PM (Spurs Time)Where: Pepsi Center, Denver ColoradoTelevision: ESPN (National) KENS HD (Local) Radio: 1200 AM WOAI (Local)