San Antonio Spurs vs Indiana Pacers: Keys to victory
By Andrew Ites
The San Antonio Spurs return home to take on the Indiana Pacers as they try to pick up their third win of the season.
The San Antonio Spurs have won two of their first three games despite being hit hard by the injury bug this preseason.
Their wins include tight victories over potential playoff teams in the Timberwolves and Lakers, and their lone loss was in Portland, which is one of the toughest places to play in the NBA.
DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge have performed well and the Spurs’ role players have stepped up in the absence of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker.
San Antonio will take on another playoff contender on Wednesday night when the Pacers come to town. Here are the keys to victory for the Spurs in this matchup:
Next: Recover from hard-fought victory in Los Angeles
Recover from hard-fought victory in Los Angeles
The Spurs are coming off of a thrilling road victory against the Lakers on Monday night.
San Antonio was in control for much of the contest, but the Lakers made a late run to send it to overtime. Fortunately, the Spurs scored five unanswered points in the final 15 seconds including a game-winning jumper from Patty Mills to close out L.A.
Gregg Popovich was able to manage each players’ minutes pretty well as Aldridge and DeRozan were the only Spurs to play over 40 minutes.
It is early in the season and San Antonio has a day of rest on Tuesday, so hopefully that overtime win won’t take too much of a toll on this team.
Next: Contain Victor Oladipo
Contain Victor Oladipo
The Pacers have a deep roster, but there is no doubt that Victor Oladipo is their go-to guy.
Oladipo has scored over 20 points in each of the past three games after dropping 23.1 points per game last season on his way to making third-team All-NBA.
However, the Timberwolves may have showed a blueprint for stopping the former Indiana Hoosier in their last game as he went 8-for-23 from the floor.
Rudy Gay will probably see a lot of Oladipo on the defensive end in this matchup. Outside of Gay, the Spurs don’t have many healthy lockdown wing defenders on their roster right now.
San Antonio will have to lean on their team defense in Pop’s system to shut down Victor Oladipo.
Next: DeRozan and Aldridge continue to dominate
DeRozan and Aldridge continue to dominate
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DeMar DeRozan has gotten off to a hot start in his first three games as a Spur scoring 29.3 points per game with 9 assists and 5 rebounds and hitting 33% of his 3 three-point attempts per night.
He doesn’t have a great true shooting percentage (52.7%), but DeRozan has been an incredible distributor as he has become the Spurs’ de facto point guard.
Aldridge has also struggled shooting the ball (49.5% true shooting), but he is absolutely dominating on the boards with 12.3 rebounds per game including 6 offensive boards per night. He’s also swatted five shots in the Spurs’ first three games to fill out the stat sheet.
San Antonio has built this roster around these two All-NBA players and they will have to continue their impressive play to win this game.
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You can watch the Spurs take on the Pacers at 7:30 PM on Fubo TV.