Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers

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The San Antonio Spurs hit the road again following a quick, one game home-stand to take on the new look Cleveland Cavaliers.

The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN and Fox Sports Southwest. The game can also be heard on the radio on WOAI 1200 AM.

How will San Antonio fare against Cleveland? We take a look at recent history, injuries, and key matchups to predict the outcome of the game!

Recent Games

San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs head into this game looking to make it two in a row after obliterating the Philadelphia 76ers 100-75 on Monday night. The Spurs used a huge advantage on the boards and hot shooting from three to propel them to the victory.

San Antonio is also looking for its fifth win in six games. The Spurs have been hot since their four game road trip through the NBA’s Pacific Division and finally seem to be out of that funk that put them at 2-3 through their first five games.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers come into this game looking to rebound from a difficult loss they suffered at the hands of the struggling 3-7 Denver Nuggets. The loss was also at home, making the defeat even more upsetting for Cavs fans.

Overall though, the Cavaliers have been great as of late. Aside from their loss to the Nuggets, Cleveland has been 4-0 after a disappointing 1-3 start. LeBron James has also been fantastic for his hometown team, averaging 29.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 7.4 assists over the Cavs’ last five games.

Injuries

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.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Shawn Marion, Small Forward – Marion is listed as probable for the Cavaliers for the game against the Spurs. “The Matrix” has been dealing with a sore upper foot but has said he will play tonight. Marion has not missed any action, appearing in all of Cleveland’s last five games. If he is unable to go for some reason, expect his minutes to go to Mike Miller or James Jones.

Key Matchups

Tonight marks the first night the San Antonio Spurs face LeBron James since knocking his former team, the Miami Heat, out of the NBA Finals. Tonight also offers the first chance to see Kawhi Leonard take on LeBron James since that moment as well, making it our key matchup of the night. Both Leonard and James will be on center stage once again with the game being nationally broadcast on ESPN and both are expected to log heavy minutes with Leonard receiving rest in the Spurs previous game and James being the best player on this Cleveland team.

KAWHI LEONARD. SF. Kawhi Leonard is once again looking to stick it to arguably the league’s best small forward in LeBron James. Leonard more than held his own in his last matchup against “The King” which occurred in the NBA Finals where he averaged 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Spurs and claimed the Finals MVP award. James has been on a tear recently though and many also think he has better weapons this season than last, making him all the more dangerous. Don’t let the Cavaliers early season chemistry woes fool you though, the team has been 4-1 since a sluggish 1-3 start. Leonard will definitely have his hands full tonight but will have to come out victorious in this matchup if San Antonio wants the win.. SF. San Antonio Spurs

LeBron James has been hot, really hot, over the Cavaliers most recent games. King James is averaging 29.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 7.4 assists during that span. He has also shot the ball impressively over Cleveland’s last five, connecting on 54% of his shots from the field and an outstanding 40% from deep. James really looks like he’s finding his groove with his new team which spells trouble for the San Antonio Spurs. He will also be looking for a little revenge tonight, not only because the Spurs defeated his old team the Heat in the Finals, but also because of the way Leonard handled him in that series. Look for a motivated LeBron tonight.. Sf. Cleveland Cavaliers. LEBRON JAMES. SF

Prediction

LeBron James is looking to avenge his last loss against the San Antonio Spurs and he will get that tonight. King James and company have just been playing too good as of late not to come out with the win, especially given the fact the game is at home.

The Cleveland Cavaliers also feature a lot more athleticism than the Spurs, which will pose problems for the defending champs. Expect the Cavaliers to come away with this win surprisingly handedly. It will be back to the drawing board after tonight for San Antonio. (Note: Air Alamo is 6-4 in predictions)

97. 156. . 86. 29

Next: Post-Game Grades: Spurs vs 76ers

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