San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets: A Friday Night Rematch

SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 26: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Denver Nuggets on December 26, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 26: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Denver Nuggets on December 26, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
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With an 111-103 loss still fresh in their minds, the Denver Nuggets will host the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. The Spurs are the hottest team in the Western Conference right now.

The San Antonio Spurs will look to continue their hot streak as they roll into Denver to take on the Nuggets on Friday night. Following a 111-103 victory over the Nuggets on Wednesday, the Spurs should follow the same game plan they did in San Antonio.

The Spurs in the last 10 games:

1st in net rating1st in offensive rating2nd in defensive rating2nd in wins1st in FG%1st in 3P%1st in FG% allowed3rd in 3P% allowed pic.twitter.com/6Yj52bfwJ2

— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 27, 2018

Over the last 10 games, no team in the NBA has been playing as well as the Spurs.

Gregg Popovich has taken an almost entirely new roster, weathered early season scrutiny and dismissal, and put together a dangerous team.

The teams’ success can largely be attributed to the rock solid play of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge has scored 20+ in 6 out of the past 9 games. DeRozan is scoring more efficiently then ever and has increased his playmaking duties with ease.

San Antonio was able to shut down Nuggets star Nikola Jokic on Wednesday night. The Spurs were able to hold the versatile big man to just 4 points. While San Antonio was able to prevent Jokic from scoring, he was still able to impact the game by finding open teammates for easy looks at the rim and behind the arc.

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Even though Denver put up 40 three-pointers in Wednesday night’s contest, they only connected on 18 of them. San Antonio has been one of the best teams in the league at defending the long ball over their past ten games.

If San Antonio wants to sweep this home-and-home series with the Nuggets that’s something that will have to continue.

Even though he suited up, Spurs 2019 Draft selection Lonnie Walker IV did not see any playing time on Wednesday.

If this next matchup with the Nuggets swings too far in either direction the University of Miami product may see his first bit of NBA action.

Walker played well in his 9-game recovery stint wit Austin Spurs. He averaged nearly 15 points per game  while shooting almost 45% from the field.

One of the most offensively talented rookies in the 2019 class, Walker is one of the most highly-anticipated rookies the Spurs have had for quite some time. While Walker is surely as excited as every other Spurs fan to finally play in the NBA, he is focused on being a good teammate off the floor before he steps on it, via Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News.

“You always got to expect,” he said. “I put on the jersey and whatever happens, happens. You’ve just got to be prepared. I’m always prepared. I never come to a test unprepared. That’s not me. That’s not natural. If my name gets called, I’m blessed and ready to take my opportunity.”

“If you see a guy make a great play or a great defensive stop, you run up screaming and yelling,” he said. “It’s (about) being a great teammate for everyone else, keeping that energy going. It’s just watching everyone, watching the games, watching the point guards, watching the guards and seeing what I can pick up, and try to get better.”

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As good of a player as he is, it’s that kind of mindset and preparation that will help Walker truly maximize his time in the NBA. If this matchup with the Nuggets is as tightly contested as the last, it’s possible Popovich turns to his veterans rather than the rookie down the stretch.

The Western Conference is absurdly close this year. The fourth and the eighth seeds are separated by a mere 1.5 games. Every win matters this year as the final few playoff spots will almost certainly be decided by just a handful of games.

Taking care of the Nuggets at home was great. Beating them at the Pepsi Center, where they have only lost three games so far this year, would provide a confidence boost for an already scorching-hot San Antonio Spurs team.

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Next. Three ways Lonnie Walker IV can jumpstart the San Antonio Spurs

Tip-off is at 8:00 pm CT on Friday night.

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