Preview and Prediction: San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors

The San Antonio Spurs (13-18) host the Golden State Warriors (9-25) at the AT&T Center on Tuesday night. In the final game of 2019, the Spurs are heavy favorites who will be looking to win consecutive games for the first time in more than three weeks.

Despite their uneven play, the Spurs have done just enough to move into the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Before play started on Tuesday, San Antonio is a half game up on the Portland Trail Blazers and one game up on the Phoenix Suns.The Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings are all within two games of the Spurs.

LaMarcus Aldridge and the Contract Guarantee

Earlier this year, the Spurs and LaMarcus Aldridge agreed to move up the date his contract for next season becomes fully guaranteed. The new date is Jan. 1, so tonight’s contest will be the last game before San Antonio needs to make a decision.

Unless something drastic happens, the Spurs will go ahead and guarantee Aldridge’s contract. He hasn’t been great this season but he’s done well enough to be worth the $24 million he’s due next season. 

This season, Aldridge is averaging 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.9 blocks in 32.9 minutes per game. Compared to the last two seasons, Aldridge’s minutes, points and rebounds are down, while his assists have held steady. Remarkably, the 34-year-old is averaging a career-high in blocked shots — by a wide margin. 

Golden State Warriors Injury Update

The injury woes never stop for the Warriors. Of course, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are out. But tonight, due to a shoulder bruise and an illness, D’Angelo Russell won’t be available to play. Willie Cauley-Stein is also doubtful due to the same illness, while Kevon Looney remains sidelined with an abdominal injury. In a bit of good news for Golden State, rookie Eric Paschall is probable for the game in San Antonio after missing the last two games. 

Prior to losing their last outing 141-121 to the Dallas Mavericks, the Warriors had won four-straight games. But that was with Russell, who averaged 26.5 points per game in those four victories.

Spurs vs. Warriors – Prediction

The Spurs are favored by 11 points, as oddsmakers see San Antonio beating Golden State 114-103. That sounds about right as the Spurs are at home and the Warriors have important players sidelined, although I’ll predict an even wider margin of victory for the Spurs.

San Antonio Spurs – 120
Golden State Warriors – 105