The San Antonio Spurs will try to hit the reset button against the Philadelphia 76ers after a monumental collapse on Saturday night at the AT&T Center.
San Antonio was on a roll at home until the Chicago Bulls rained on their parade with a massive 21-point comeback in the second half. Now facing the threat of falling below .500 for the fourth time this season, the Spurs will have to dial it in against a much more formidable foe.
The 76ers were already dangerous before acquiring Jimmy Butler via an early-season blockbuster trade with Minnesota, but now they look like a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference. While San Antonio sits far away from title contention status, they have the personnel to give anyone a challenging battle on a nightly basis.
Despite the persistent inconsistency from the Spurs this season, this game has all the makings of a wildly entertaining matchup. With big-time names like DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler taking center stage, there’s sure to be plenty of fireworks.
Date: Monday, Dec. 17
Time: 7:30 p.m. CST
Location: San Antonio, TX
Venue: AT&T Center
TV Info: FSSW-SA, NBCSP
Live Stream: FuboTV, NBA League Pass
Though a shootout would be an exciting scene for fans to witness, a potential free-for-all doesn’t bode well for San Antonio. The Spurs have struggled to stop opponents from running up the score and Philadelphia is home to the NBA’s sixth-best scoring offense.
For San Antonio to have a chance to right the ship, they’ll need all hands on deck on the defensive end. Philadelphia’s stars can light up the box score on any given night, but if the Spurs are able to contain them, the Sixers have very few go-to scoring options outside of their superstar trio.
While San Antonio prides themselves on unselfish team-first basketball, the Spurs are very much in the same boat as Philadelphia. If DeRozan or LA can’t get it going early and often, it’s a near lock to lose for the Silver and Black.
LaMarcus Aldridge is enjoying a solid December. Through the first eight games of the month, the big man has begun to turn things around a bit.
— Noah Magaro-George (@N_Magaro) December 17, 2018
LaMarcus Aldridge has stepped up his game since the start of December and DeRozan has continued to play great basketball all season. With that said, DeMar’s shooting woes over his last three contests must come to an end when the 76ers come to town on Monday night.
DeMar and LA are a huge part of the Spurs success, but the burden of carrying the team to victory can’t rest on their shoulders alone. San Antonio’s All-Stars can only do so much to impact the game and they’re going to need some assistance from the rest of the roster.
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Bryn Forbes and Rudy Gay have overachieved this season and both players are integral pieces to take down the Sixers. The two savvy scorers have stepped up in huge ways for a team plagued by injuries to key contributors and I’m sure they’ll come out looking to find their sweet spots.
The starting five provides most of the San Antonio’s points, but their bench is more than capable of holding their own. Although the Spurs own the league’s 11th highest scoring second unit, they’ll probably ask for a few more buckets from their role players.
Ultimately, the final results will come down to who played the entire game. Both teams have had issues finishing what they started, but hopefully, San Antonio learned their lesson from an embarrassing loss to the lowly Chicago Bulls.
It would be huge for their momentum if San Antonio could snag a final win on the last night of a six-game homestand. The Spurs haven’t been the best road team this season and they could really use a dub before they hit the road.