The San Antonio Spurs will not have two of their top players vs. the Houston Rockets.
On Monday night, the San Antonio Spurs will continue their hellacious road trip vs. the Houston Rockets, which follows losses to the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder in two of three nights. It will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX.
Injuries continue to be a problem for the Spurs, even this late in the season. Fewer than one quarter of the games remain, so any hurt player’s absence will impact where the team falls in the playoff race, which is tighter than ever.
Well, for the Rockets game, the Silver and Black will not have three players, according to the official injury report. LaMarcus Aldridge (right knee soreness), Manu Ginobili (rest) and Kawhi Leonard (return from injury management) all will not suit up.
LaMarcus Aldridge (right knee soreness), Manu Ginobili (rest) and Kawhi Leonard (return from injury management) are out for tomorrow’s Spurs-Rockets game. pic.twitter.com/yVgAHvJXlZ
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 11, 2018
The story is Aldridge’s absence. It’s the same right knee soreness that sidelined him before the All-Star break, about one month ago. So it’s an issue that either remained with the 32-year old or returned Saturday, when he shot just 5-for-16 for 11 points and 7 rebounds. Of course, it could just be a rest day that’s disguised as knee soreness. Although, this late in the season, would the Spurs coaching staff take that risk, in this tight playoff picture?
Ginobili’s rest days decreased in the second half, given the lack of back-to-back games for San Antonio. An extra day can be used to get his 40-year-old legs underneath him and move forward.
Leonard’s absence comes as no surprise. However, he might return as early as Thursday vs. the New Orleans Pelicans. If so, it could be what the team needs to secure a playoff spot.
The Spurs and Rockets will go head-to-head at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and ATSW.