Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Indiana Pacers – Game #47
The San Antonio Spurs will play their second to last game of their nine-game homestand tonight against the Indiana Pacers. The Spurs are only 2-5 so far on the homestand, which is obviously a big disappointment. If they hope to feel even halfway pleased with their performance during this stretch, they need to win the last two contests. That task begins tonight against the Pacers.
The Spurs, 24-22, remain in the eight seed in the Western Conference — but they are fading. They are now 1.5 games behind the seventh-seeded Dallas Mavericks and 4.5 games behind the sixth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers. The ninth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies are only one game back.
The Pacers are in a similar boat. They’ve lost three straight games and they are just 21-26 on the season. Indiana came into this season with reasonably high expectations but they’re currently the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference.
San Antonio Spurs Injury Update
The Spurs will be without four players tonight when they take on the Pacers. Gorgui Dieng, the recently signed backup center who got injured 91 seconds into his Spurs career, remains out with a shoulder injury. Lonnie Walker IV and his troublesome wrist will stay on the sidelines. Trey Lyles, who hurt his ankle during a practice session, won’t play. Keita Bates-Diop is also out with a pulled hamstring.
Indiana Pacers Injury Update
The Pacers have three key players listed as day-to-day. All-Star Domantas Sabonis got hurt in the Pacers last game. Going into the contest, he was already banged up and then he injured his ankle during the game. Malcolm Brogdon was a late scratch for that same game due to a hip injury. Jeremy Lamb (toe injury) has missed Indiana’s last two games.
There’s no word yet which, if any, of those three players will be able to play for the Pacers tonight against the Spurs.
Spurs vs. Pacers: How the Spurs Can Win
During this homestand, defending the three-point line has played a key role for the Spurs, especially in terms of wins and loss. In their two wins, opponents are just 19-for-69 from three-point range from 27.5%. In their five losses, opponents are 73-for-159 from three-point range for a blistering 45.9%.
While some of that can be chalked up to bad luck, the Spurs need to make it a priority to cover the three-point line. Giving up wide open shots from deep is the easiest way to lose a game in today’s NBA. This disappointing homestand is proving just that.