An off night for the San Antonio Spurs got worse when Joel Embiid dunked all over Davis Bertans.
The San Antonio Spurs walked into Wednesday’s game limited. Head coach Gregg Popovich sat Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Danny Green and Manu Ginobili, while Rudy Gay remained injured. That left a short-handed rotation, along with Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes and Kyle Anderson receiving the start.
On the bench, Davis Bertans received more playing time. It’s been sporadic, through the 2017-18 season, with on-court action happening when injuries arise or Popovich’s decision to rest players.
Well, Bertans had a rough night, at least in the third quarter. He attempted to defend Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid under the rim, which turned ugly fast. Ben Simmons lobbed an alley-oop to Embiid, who slammed it on the young Latvian, and ensued an applause from the Wells Fargo Center crowd.
A monster alley-oop by Joel Embiid with a hand right in his face! pic.twitter.com/H3FvfxHjv7
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 4, 2018
While Bertans has shown promise, under the rim, Embiid will win that battle every time. It’s a matter of strength, aggressiveness, defensive awareness and to just get out of the way, especially when this seven-footer attempts to throw it down.
Aside from this, most of the game developed slowly for the Spurs. It was a difference from Tuesday’s win over the New York Knicks. Although Leonard, Parker, Green and Ginobili played. As of this writing, San Antonio was down 77-70, with four minutes left in the third quarter.
Will the Spurs close the gap and win this game? Can Bertans avoid another poster dunk from Embiid? Time will tell.