On the night of legendary left Manu Ginobili’s jersey retirement in the Alamo City, the San Antonio Spurs are set to host the bottoming Cleveland Cavaliers.
Yes folks, there’s an actual game going on tonight! The hype surrounding Thursday evening’s jersey retirement ceremony for the illustrious and beloved franchise shooting guard Manu Ginobili will surely overshadow the night, regardless of how the San Antonio Spurs play against rookie point guard Collin Sexton and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And yet here we are, discussing the 76th game of the regular season. After a horrific outing against “Cardiac Kemba” Walker and the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday, combo guard Derrick White will look to bounce back against a deceptively advanced young opponent.
Sexton has truly come into his own over recent weeks, averaging 22.4 points per game on 51.2 percent shooting from the field and 46.6 percent from three in March. Outside of his scoring, Sexton doesn’t do a whole lot from a statistical standpoint, but White will have his hands full with the rising star.
Meanwhile, the dynamic duo of LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan will look to capitalize on a solid stretch of games themselves against an undisciplined Cavaliers group. Facing off against the Cavs twice in the final seven games of the season, San Antonio holds on to a chance for 50 wins if they can close out the year without a loss. ‘
Meeting goals like this and winning their favored games would be highly influential in establishing a higher playoff seed for the Spurs. Let’s face it – another meeting with the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoff sounds like a drag, so let’s hope Sexton doesn’t torch San Antonio’s rocky perimeter defenders and ruin our fun.
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This marks the first game of a three-game homestand for the Spurs. This will match a three-game road trip that saw San Antonio drop 2-of-3 games in just under a week. Rattling off nine consecutive wins through the start of the month gave this team a cushion between a playoff spot and the ninth seed, but the Sacramento Kings are still lurking around without much time left in the regular season.
Facing off against Aldridge at the power forward spot is NBA Champion Kevin Love, whose return from injury has been a catalyst in Cleveland’s resurged play style in recent weeks.
The 30-year-old is averaging a double-double of 17.6 points and 11.4 rebounds per game while hitting just 37.6 percent of his field goal attempts. His three-point shooting is down as well with Love making only 35.7 percent of his takes from behind the arc. Aldridge will be forced to step out and guard the perimeter in this matchup, so center Jakob Poeltl may need to pick up some slack on the boards and as a rim protector.
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The action kicks off at 7:30 P.M. CST on FOX Sports Southwest, where the fun will continue once the Spurs (hopefully) put the Cavaliers to rest.