Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs Philadelphia 76ers
The San Antonio Spurs finally come home tonight after finishing a four game road trip through the NBA’s Pacific Division. The Spurs will take on the lowly 76ers in an attempt to get back to their winning ways after dropping a game in Sacramento.
The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT and will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest. The game can also be heard on the radio on WOAI 1200 AM.
How will San Antonio fare against Philadelphia? We take a look at recent history, injuries, and key matchups to predict the outcome of the game!
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs head into this game looking to start anew winning streak after losing to the Sacramento Kings, 94-91, in a closely contested match. The Spurs loss to the Kings ended an impressive three game winning streak with all of the wins coming on the road.
San Antonio finally appears to be out of its early season funk and is playing very well as of late, 3-1 in their last four. The dominance we are accustomed to seeing from Spurs teams also seems to be back with hot shooting and low turnovers.
The Philadelphia 76ers come into this game looking for that elusive first win. Philadelphia has been flat-out awful through its first nine games, losing by an average of 16 points per game.
Not all is bad for a 76ers team that is stockpiling assets though. Philadelphia has received some nice performances from some of its young players such as Tony Wroten who is averaging 20.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.3 assists and leading the team in points, assists, and steals.
San Antonio Spurs
Marco Belinelli, Shooting Guard – Belinelli suffered a groin injury towards the end of the first quarter in the win over the Atlanta Hawks. He is still expected to miss tonight’s game. Expect his minutes to go to Austin Daye.
Patty Mills, Point Guard – Mills is still healing from surgery on his torn rotator cuff. Expect his minutes to go to Cory Joseph.
Tiago Splitter, Center – Splitter re-aggravated his right calf injury in the game against the Hawks and is expected to miss tonight’s game. He is expected to visit a specialist and remains uncertain for future games. Look for Boris Diaw and Matt Bonner to pick up his minutes.
Joel Embiid, Center – The 76ers 2014 first round draft is expected to be out until early 2015 or later to recover from a stress fracture in his foot. This does not really change Philadelphia’s rotation plans as they have been without the center the whole season.
Alexey Shved, Point Guard – Shved sat out the 76ers loss to the Rockets on Friday with a sore back. No updates on his status have been sent out since. His absence should allow the returning Michael Carter-Williams to pick up more minutes and the starting Tony Wroten to do the same.
Tonight’s key matchup is in the backcourt between the San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and the up-and-coming Philadelphia 76ers’ Tony Wroten. Philadelphia, while finishing near last in every team category this season, actually does surprisingly well in steals where they lead the league. Wroten is a huge part of that with his 2.2 steals per game, good for fifth in the league among all players. Wroten has been Philadelphia’s best player to start the season. On the other side, we all know what Tony Parker has to offer, consistency and All-Star production.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ woes continue again tonight with their 10th straight loss. The San Antonio Spurs are just too experienced and talented to let what should be an easy win get away from them.
The 76ers won’t lie down easily though, especially early. The team just lost by one point to Houston in their previous game which should be a nice confidence booster considering the Rockets have been one of the best in the West so far.
Next: Takeaways from San Antonio Spurs loss to Sacramento Kings