The San Antonio Spurs take on the Phoenix Suns on the road at 10 pm ET on Friday. Both teams are 1-1 and they won their season opener in contrasting ways. The Spurs were involved in a playoff type game with their in state rivals, the Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs escaped with a one point win, after Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons missed a three point attempt in the last seconds. The Suns on the other hand, took on a depleted Los Angeles Lakers team. The Suns took a lead early and never trailed, as they won by 20.
After missing the opener, Kawhi Leonard is probable for the San Antonio Spurs. Leonard is expected to take at least a small leap offensively this season, with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili getting older. It will be interesting to see how a lineup that included Matt Bonner, will keep up with a young Suns team that appears to be one of the better scoring teams in the league.
The Suns will likely start Morris twins (Marcus and Markieff) down low, with P.J. Tucker, Eric Bledsoe, and Goran Dragic. The Morris twins are natural forwards with the ability to stretch the floor with their shooting ability and can defend multiple positions. The Spurs will have their hands full with the backcourt of Phoenix that consists of not only Dragic and Bledsoe, but they also have Gerald Green and Isaiah Thomas coming off the bench.
If the San Antonio Spurs want to win this game, they must contain their backcourt and it starts with Tony Parker and Marco Belinelli. Leonard suiting up will go a long way as he can defend Dragic or Green much better than his teammates. Despite the advantage in speed the Suns have, the Spurs do have an edge at center with Tim Duncan. I expect Duncan to go for 20 plus points and dominate the game inside.
The Suns will have the edge when the second units come in, as they have Green and Thomas. The two form arguably the best duo of guards off the bench in the league. Last season, Thomas averaged 20.3 points and Green averaged 15.8 points.
Prediction: Duncan and Parker combine for 45 points, but the trio of point guards (Dragic, Bledsoe, and Thomas) combine for 60 points and the Suns will win a down to the wire contest by the score of 105-103.
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