Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder – Game #11

The San Antonio Spurs will attempt to get back on the winning track tonight after losing their previous five ballgames. The Spurs, who have a record of 3-7, have actually played well in their two most recent games. Their close losses to the Minnesota Timberwolves (see the Grades) and the Miami Heat (see the Grades) have included a lot of positive signs.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have a record of 6-4. They’re led by superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is averaging 29.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, while shooting 52.6% from the field.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Unfortunately, the Spurs are suddenly dealing with a lot of injuries. Backup point guard Tre Jones, who missed the game versus the Heat with a hamstring injury, is again questionable for tonight’s affair against the Thunder. To make matters worse, starting point guard Jeremy Sochan is also questionable with a groin injury.

Keldon Johnson is dealing with a knee injury and he too is questionable. Johnson has been banged up this season but hasn’t missed a game.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

With injuries hitting San Antonio, the starting lineup isn’t as clear. We know that head coach Gregg Popovich will start Victor Wembanyama at power forward, Zach Collins at center and Devin Vassell at shooting guard. At point guard, Jeremy Sochan will start if he’s healthy. If he’s not healthy, expect Malaki Branham to start at point guard.

If Sochan plays but Keldon Johnson doesn’t, Branham would likely start in place of Johnson. If both Johnson and Sochan can’t go, expect Branham and most likely Cedi Osman to start.

Two Top Rookies Square Off

Tonight’s game is on national television for one reason: the matchup between Victor Wembanyama of the Spurs and Chet Holmgren of the Thunder. These two seven-footers are clearly the top two rookies in the NBA.

Holmgren is averaging 16.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.3 blocks per game, while hitting 54.9% of his shots from the field, 50% of his three-pointers and 89.5% of his free throws.

While Holmgren has been really good, Wembanyama is still the favorite to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award. The native of France is averaging 19.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.4 blocks, while shooting 44.7% from the floor, 29.8% on three-pointers and 76.6% at the free throw line.

Betting Guide: Spurs at Thunder

The Thunder are favored by 9.5 points and the over/under is at 237 points. The smart money is on the over. The Spurs have played better defensively as of late but they’ve had some disastrous performances on that end — particularly on the road. Plus, they could be without two of their better defenders in Jeremy Sochan and Tre Jones. Offensively, San Antonio should still have enough firepower to put plenty of points on the board.