Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Toronto Raptors – Game #54

The San Antonio Spurs are riding another extended losing streak as they head into a road game against the Toronto Raptors on Monday night. The Spurs have started the 2023-24 Rodeo Road Trip with three straight defeats. Overall, San Antonio has dropped seven straight games. Only the Memphis Grizzlies (eight) have a longer losing streak in the NBA.

The latest loss for the Spurs came against the Brooklyn Nets. Rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama led the way with 21 points but it was an underwhelming performance by the big man and the team as a whole (see the Grades).

After facing the Raptors, the Spurs — who have a record of 10-43 — take on the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in what will be the team’s final game prior to the All-Star Break.

Toronto enters tonight’s affair with a record of 19-34. However, they’ve actually won two of their last three games. Scottie Barnes, who made the Eastern Conference All-Star team this season, is averaging 20.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals. He’s shooting 47.6% from the field, 35.8% from the three-point line and 77.7% from the free throw line.

Toronto Raptors Draft Pick Watch

The Spurs have had one eye on the Raptors all season long. Due to the Jakob Poeltl trade last season, San Antonio received a protected first round pick from the Raptors. That pick will remain with the Raptors if Toronto has a top-six selection in the 2024 NBA Draft. If the Raptors pick seventh or worse, the Spurs get the pick.

As it stands, the Raptors have the seventh worst record in the NBA. That means that the Spurs have a 68% chance of getting that pick from Toronto. However, that will obviously change depending on if the Raptors move up or down the standings.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

Recently, head coach Gregg Popovich has been starting Tre Jones at point guard, Devin Vassell at shooting guard, Julian Champagnie at small forward, Jeremy Sochan at power forward and Victor Wembanyama at center. To give the Spurs a boost and try to get his team back on the winning track, it’s possible that Popovich could change up the starting five. Possible changes include Cedi Osman starting at small forward or even Blake Wesley getting the start at point guard.

Off the bench, the Spurs could opt to go with Dominick Barlow instead of Zach Collins in an attempt to try to discover a winning combination.

Betting Guide: Spurs at Raptors

The Raptors are favored by 6.5 points and the over/under is 236 points. Given San Antonio’s recent lackluster play, the smart money is on the Raptors winning by seven or more points.