The San Antonio Spurs take on the Phoenix Suns tonight in the AT&T Center. This is another important game in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Spurs, 20-23, are in the eighth spot in the West. The Suns, 18-26, are 2.5 games behind the Spurs but can make up ground if they can beat the Spurs on the road.
Speaking of the road, the Suns have been a surprisingly good road team this season, especially for a young squad. They are 9-10 on the road. The Spurs, by comparison, are only 8-13 away from San Antonio.
The fact that the Spurs beat the Suns on Monday in Phoenix hopefully doesn’t give San Antonio an inflated amount of confidence. While it was a quality road win for the Spurs, the Suns are actually better on the road than at home.
Can the Spurs Slow Devin Booker?
Last game, the Spurs started Bryn Forbes on Devin Booker. For the first half, that alignment surprisingly worked decently well. But Forbes on Booker became a liability in the second half. Booker in the third quarter alone last meeting scored 22 points on a way to a 37-point performance.
If Forbes is on Booker, one way to slow him down could be to keep him busy on defense. Forbes did that last game in the first half, as he hit seven of his eight three-pointers in the first two quarters. Forbes finished that game with 24 points.
Marco Belinelli Back in the Rotation
In the last four games, Marco Belinelli has been in head coach Gregg Popovich’s rotation. In that time frame, Belinelli is averaging 19.5 minutes per game, which is more than others in the rotation including Trey Lyles, Lonnie Walker IV and Jakob Poeltl.
Originally, Belinelli reentered the rotation due to Rudy Gay missing three games with an illness. But even with Gay back in action against the New Orleans Pelicans, Belinelli still got 17 minutes.
Prediction: Spurs vs. Suns
The Spurs have won three straight games and oddsmakers have taken note, as San Antonio is favored over Phoenix by 4.5 points tonight. The predicted final score is 115-111.
While I think the Spurs will win, I believe it will be a nailbiter. This team has been really bad about holding onto momentum and find ways to derail. This seems like another game where the Spurs could surprise by underperforming.
San Antonio Spurs – 117
Phoenix Suns – 116