San Antonio Spurs announce six players out for Wednesday’s game
By Josh Paredes
The mystery of which San Antonio Spurs will miss time following COVID-19 concerns has been revealed. Monday afternoon, the team announced the six players currently not with the team and won’t travel for Wednesday’s game in Oklahoma City. The list is as follows: DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Quinndary Weatherspoon, and Derrick White.
The most important takeaway from the news is the players’ health and safety, so the hope is they will all have a symptom-free recovery without any long-lasting effects. By now, we know the four positive test results were likely Gay, Johnson, Vassell, and White, as Weatherspoon was never announced positive initially, and DeRozan will be out for personal reasons.
From a basketball point of view, the news is about as bad as it can get. All but Weatherspoon are players in the regular rotation, with four of them being in the top seven on the Spurs in points per game.
Altogether, San Antonio will be missing 63.6 points worth of offense, which accounts for 57.2 percent of the team’s total offensive output.
What the near future holds for the San Antonio Spurs
When the four positive tests were announced, the Spurs recalled Tre Jones and Luka Samanic from the G League a couple of days later, likely to ensure they wouldn’t have to postpone any more games.
With five games already postponed since January, San Antonio is already all-but-guaranteed more back-to-backs, an area they’ve been abysmal in so far. Having Jones and Samanic available should ensure the Spurs can dress at least eight players for Wednesday’s game in Oklahoma City.
Spurs players who will be available Wednesday against the Thunder:
Players usually in rotation: Murray, Poeltl, Mills, Lonnie
Players not usually in rotation: Eubanks, Lyles, Bates-Diop, Samanic, Jones
Waiting on status update for Aldridge
— Paul Garcia (@PaulGarciaNBA) February 22, 2021
With the absence of so many players, I’d expect Gregg Popovich’s offensive approach to be more balanced than usual, with Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker, and Patty Mills expected to lead the way.
As of now, there hasn’t been word on how long the team will be without their guys. The good news is they have two days off after Wednesday before returning home for a game against New Orleans on Saturday.
We’ll have more analysis here at Air Alamo as Wednesday’s tipoff approaches.