Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Phoenix Suns – Game #55

The San Antonio Spurs have been streaky as of late. After losing five straight games, the Spurs won two straight but have now lost two straight. Tonight against the Phoenix Suns, San Antonio will try to avoid their third consecutive loss. It won’t be easy.

The Suns are 40-15 on the season and are currently the second seed in the Western Conference, trailing only the 42-15 Utah Jazz. Considering multiple teams in the West are dealing with injuries, including the Jazz, Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers, the Suns have a chance to capture the top spot in the conference.

The Spurs, on the other hand, are trying to stay in the playoff hunt. They are currently the tenth seed in the West. They are one game behind the ninth seeded Golden State Warriors and two games ahead of the eleventh seeded New Orleans Pelicans. This season, seeds seven through ten make the play-in tournament, so as it stands the Spurs are still in decent shape.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Considering that the Spurs will be playing their fifth game in seven nights, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they are sitting three players for rest purposes. DeMar DeRozan, Patty Mills and Jakob Poeltl won’t play against the Suns in order to rest. Trey Lyles will also miss the game with an ankle injury.

Expect either Drew Eubanks or Gorgui Dieng to replace Poeltl in the starting lineup. Eubanks is coming off of a strong game against the Portland Trail Blazers, while Dieng has been slowed after hurting his shoulder in his Spurs debut.

Head coach Gregg Popovich could go multiple directions when replacing DeRozan in the starting lineup. Lonnie Walker IV could start to provide the team with an extra amount of scoring punch. Alternatively, Popovich may opt to go big and start Luka Samanic at power forward and slide Keldon Johnson over to small forward.

To replace Mills, Popovich could elevate rookie Tre Jones into the rotation. Another option is to add Devin Vassell to the rotation and fill Mills’ role with a combination of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Walker.

Chris Paul Still Thriving for the Phoenix Suns

Chris Paul has been a thorn in San Antonio’s side for 15 years — and he’s still going strong. The 35-year-old is averaging 15.8 points, 8.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds, while shooting 48.6% from the floor, 36.4% from three-point range and 93.1% from the free throw line.

He has proven to be a strong complement for Devin Booker, Phoenix’s young star who is pouring in 25.7 points per game.