The San Antonio Spurs haven’t had a whole lot to be happy about since Kawhi Leonard forced his way off the team. The trade with the Toronto Raptors looks worse and worse in retrospect, while Leonard went on to win an NBA championship with the Raptors before ultimately signing with his hometown Los Angeles Clippers.
One source of happiness for Spurs fans since that fateful trade is the fact that Leonard has had no success in San Antonio. Last season, the Spurs smashed the Raptors in Toronto’s lone trip to South Texas. This season, the Spurs easily beat the Clippers in L.A.’s first trip to the Alamo City.
Tonight, Leonard and the Clippers visit San Antonio for the second and final time this season. Oddsmakers fully believe that the former Spur will finally be able to get his revenge tonight, as the Clippers are seven-point favorites on the road.
After a four-game winning streak, the Clippers have lost two of their last three contests, including on Thursday night against the Houston Rockets, 122-117. After losing eight straight games, the Spurs are 6-5 over the previous 11 games.
Who Will Defend Kawhi Leonard?
Last time the two teams played, the Spurs used a combination of players on Leonard. DeMar DeRozan, Derrick White, Rudy Gay and others all got a crack at the superstar small forward. Considering that Leonard had only 19 points on 8-for-23 shooting, expect San Antonio’s coaching staff to keep throwing multiple bodies at him.
In addition to the aforementioned trio, Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker IV are candidates to get extended time on Leonard. Plus, don’t forget that Patty Mills of all players had success defending Leonard last year when the Raptors came to town.
San Antonio Spurs Injury Update
Rudy Gay is listed as questionable due to an illness. This would be bad timing for Gay not to play as the Spurs could use his big body against a Clippers team that features a number of large, athletic players on the outside.
Los Angeles Clippers Injury Update
JaMychal Green has a bruised tailbone and is listed as questionable against the Spurs. On the season, Green is averaging 7.4 points and 6.6 rebounds while knocking down 37.8% of his three-point attempts. If you remember correctly, Green started his NBA career with the Spurs back in the 2014-15 campaign.
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
The Spurs have gone back to their original starting lineup that kicked off the regular season. Expect to see it on the court to begin the game again tonight. That fivesome is Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, DeMar DeRozan, Trey Lyles and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup
The Clippers will likely start a lineup of Patrick Beverley, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Maurice Harkless and Ivica Zubac.