With a victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday evening, the San Antonio Spurs have a chance to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games.
In the first meeting between Chicago and San Antonio, the shorthanded Spurs narrowly escaped the wrath of guard tandem of Zach LaVine (28 points) and Ryan Arcidiacono (22 points). This time around, the Spurs are back to their old ways and have begun playing winning basketball once again.
It’s been an excellent December for the Spurs, who have won 5-of-7 games in that span including victories over Utah and both Los Angeles teams. Head coach Gregg Popovich can release a sigh of relief knowing that his squad is finally executing his game plan and playing like a team as opposed to a bunch of mediocre solo acts.
To make matters worse for the Bulls, LaVine is considered doubtful with an ankle injury while former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker will reportedly ride the bench as Chicago looks for a trade suitor to take on his two-year $40 million deal. Things haven’t gone according to plan for the 23-year-old, but he’s shown indications of great scoring instincts and was effective for the Bulls in the first meeting between these teams.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 14Time: 7:30 p.m. CSTLocation: San Antonio, TXVenue: AT&T CenterTV Info: KENSLive Stream: Fubo TV
It seems like we’ve officially entered the other side of LaMarcus Aldridge’s rough patch, as the franchise power forward is averaging 20.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks over his last seven games. In that span, he’s shot 61 percent from the floor on 14.3 field goal attempts per contest. Concerns of his fit with DeMar DeRozan are diminishing as the team’s leaders have come to build distinct chemistry both on and off the hardwood.
Considering the way these two teams are trending in recent weeks, it’s safe to say that San Antonio has a clear advantage in this matchup. The dust is clearing after Chicago’s players and newly appointed head coach Jim Boylen clashed over his harsh practice regimen.
As reported by Vincent Goodwill and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Popovich became a topic of conversation between Boylen and his frustrated players.
Boylen repeatedly referenced his days on the San Antonio Spurs staff and instances in which coach Gregg Popovich pulled all five players off the floor to send a message, sources said.
A player responded, sources said, telling Boylen in essence that they aren’t the Spurs and, more importantly, he isn’t Popovich.
It’ll be interesting to see how Boylen and his squad respond to visiting the real Gregg Popovich.