The San Antonio Spurs (10-16) have a really important game tonight in the Alamo City against the Brooklyn Nets (15-12). With the schedule getting much more difficult once calendars flip to 2020, the Spurs need to take advantage of any winnable home games the rest of December. While the Nets are likely a playoff-bound team in the East, the Spurs need this win.
San Antonio is 7-7 at home, while Brooklyn is 7-7 on the road. However, the Spurs are favored by four points tonight and should be able to take care of business, especially if they play like they did in the first half against the Houston Rockets.
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
The Spurs have gone back to the starting lineup that began the season, which features Dejounte Murray at point guard, Bryn Forbes at shooting guard, DeMar DeRozan at small forward, Trey Lyles at power forward and LaMarcus Aldridge at center. The results have been good enough since Gregg Popovich went back to it that the lineup should continue to get the call to open games for the time being, at least.
Brooklyn Nets Injury Update
The fact that the Nets are 15-12 is extra impressive considering how many injuries they have had to deal with. Kevin Durant is out for the season while he recovers from his achilles tendon tear. Kyrie Irving has been out for more than a month with a shoulder injury. Caris LeVert has been out more than five weeks with a thumb injury. Tonight, rookie big man Nicolas Claxton is out with a hamstring injury, while David Nwaba is probable with an ankle injury.
Spurs vs. Nets – Key Matchup
Spencer Dinwiddie has played at an All-Star level since Irving got hurt. In his last 16 games, all without Irving, Dinwiddie is averaging 24.3 points, 7.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds. The Nets have gone 11-5 in that stretch.
The task of slowing down Dinwiddie will start with Murray. Last time out, Murray played really good defense against James Harden. Tonight, he’s facing a completely different animal. If Murray can slow down Dinwiddie while staying out of foul trouble, the Spurs will be in good shape. When Murray sits, the job will fall to Derrick White.
On the other end of the court, advanced stats aren’t too impressed by Dinwiddie’s defense. If Murray and White can punish him at that end, that would further help San Antonio’s cause.
Prediction: Spurs vs. Nets
The Spurs are healthier, at home and should be motivated to get back on the winning track.
San Antonio Spurs – 113
Brooklyn Nets – 108