For the first time this season, the San Antonio Spurs are poised to play a game in front of a national audience and a record-setting 64,000 fans at the Alamodome. On Friday at 6:30pm CST, the Spurs host Steph Curry and the Warriors in their 50th anniversary fiesta celebration, Back Home in the Dome.
This is the first time all season that the Spurs will be broadcast to a national audience. Personally, I live outside of the Spurs’ media market and stream all the games on NBA League Pass, but this game will be available to watch nationally on ESPN.
The Spurs haven’t played in front of a national audience since April 13th, when they were eliminated from the play-in tournament by the New Orleans Pelicans. That means many fans of the league are yet to see the Spurs play an entire game this season, and even though the franchise is nowhere near its former glory, basketball diehards will be tuning in.
While I’m sure all of the Spurs enjoy the limelight and the attention that comes with it, there are three players on the roster with motivations that the casual basketball fan and Spurs superfan can follow and appreciate.
Keldon Johnson can get his mojo back
It’s been a while since NBA fans saw an entire Keldon Johnson performance. Since his last ESPN appearance, the small forward has shot 88/257 from deep for a solid 34%. That’s not as good as his near-40% clip from last season, but it’s respectable as he has dealt with injury on and off all season.
In his last nationally televised appearance, Johnson posted 15 points but missed all five of his attempts from deep. Had he hit 40% of them, the Spurs still would have been eliminated at the hands of the Pelicans, but at least Johnson would have been able to save face.
Johnson shot just 6/20 in that last game, but nine months removed from his last prime-time appearance, maybe he can turn over a new leaf.