San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder: Prediction, Key Players, Injuries

By George Middleton
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The San Antonio Spurs will kick off their season opener on Wednesday night, when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. The game will be held at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN. The game can also be heard on the radio on WOAI 1200 AM.

Wednesday marks the first of four season meetings between the teams. The Spurs won two of the three games last season. In their most recent matchup the Spurs beat the Thunder 113-88 on April 7. Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 26 points. LaMarcus Aldridge and David West will make their Spurs debut.

How will the Spurs fare against the Thunder? We took a look at recent history, injuries, and key factors to predict the outcome of the game.

Recent Games

San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs finished 2-4 during the preseason. On Oct. 23, the Spurs beat the Houston Rockets 111-86. LaMarcus Aldridge and Danny Green scored 19 points apiece to lead the Spurs.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder went 5-1, beating the Utah Jazz 113-102 in the preseason finale. Kevin Durant netted 29 points, and Russell Westbrook finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Injuries

San Antonio Spurs

No key injuries.

Oklahoma City Thunder

No key injuries.

Keys to Spurs Win

Contain Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook is arguably the best point guard in the league. He is virtually unstoppable, that’s why I put “contain.” Westbrook averaged 28.1 points, 8.6 assists, and 7.3 rebounds last season. Surprisingly, the Spurs actually did a job containing him more than most teams, since the 26-year-old tallied 22.3 points and 6.7 assists in three meeting. However, don’t forget he did that without former MVP and 4-time scoring champ Kevin Durant.

Play from the Second Units

It appears that the Thunder will bring Enes Kanter off the Thunder along with Anthony Morrow, Dion Waiters, D.J. Augustin, and Mitch McGary. That bench will be among the league’s best. The Spurs reserves are terrific as well with Boris Diaw, Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, and Kyle Anderson. Earning the second-unit edge is critical for winning.

Prediction

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The Thunder are at home, Durant is making his return and this is the most difficult game the Spurs can have to kick off the season. Westbrook and Durant will have big games in a narrow Thunder win.

Next: San Antonio Spurs: Media Predictions

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