Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers – Game #4

The San Antonio Spurs, fresh off of their first loss of the season, will look to get back on the winning track on Wednesday night. However, a victory won’t come easy, as the Spurs will be playing the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA’s defending champions.

The 2-1 Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors before falling to the New Orleans Pelicans. The Lakers have split their two games so far this season, beating the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves, while losing to the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

LaMarcus Aldridge is questionable for this evening’s game against the Lakers due to soreness in his left knee. Aldridge has played in all three games this season, although his numbers aren’t pretty. In 26.0 minutes per game, he’s averaging 12.0 points and 4.3 rebounds, while shooting 42.1% from the field and knocking down only 2-of-11 three-pointers. It’s possible that this knee soreness is responsible for his slow start, although Aldridge having a slow start to a season is nothing new.

Derrick White, toe surgery, and Quinndary Weatherspoon, knee surgery, remain out for San Antonio. White is reportedly making progress and should be able to return to action relatively soon.

Los Angeles Lakers Injury Update

LeBron James, like Aldridge, is listed as questionable for tonight’s contest between the Spurs and the Lakers. James hasn’t missed a game this season but he has been dealing with an ankle injury. Today is also his 36th birthday, so the Spurs won’t be too upset if Los Angeles allows him to have the day off.

Alex Caruso is out for the Lakers due to COVID-19 related protocalls.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

If Aldridge is out for the Spurs, expect Jakob Poeltl to start in his place. To backup Poeltl, the Spurs will likely use either Trey Lyles or Drew Eubanks.

Unless something changes, the other four starters for San Antonio will be Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, DeMar DeRozan and Keldon Johnson.

Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup

If James misses the game, the Lakers could go a variety of different ways. Next to Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, Dennis Schroder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, L.A. could go big and insert Kyle Kuzma. They could go young and go with Talen Horton-Tucker, who shined in the preseason. Wesley Matthews and Markieff Morris are two other options to replace James in the starting lineup.

Spurs vs. Lakers – How the Spurs Can Win

To get a victory against the defending champs, the Spurs will have to successfully deal with the Lakers size. The Spurs are small — even with Aldridge in the lineup. They’ll need to survive on the boards and find players who can at least hang with Davis and, if he plays, James.