The San Antonio Spurs (8-8) take on the Washington Wizards (3-8) tonight in the AT&T Center. The Spurs have lost two straight games but, unless something goes terribly wrong, San Antonio should be able to get a victory against the Wizards.
Why is this a game the Spurs should win? At full health, Washington is a dangerous team. However, the Wizards haven’t played since Jan. 11 due to not being able to suit up enough players due to COVID-19 restrictions and other injuries. Tonight, the Wizards will be without Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, Moritz Wagner, Troy Brown Jr., Deni Avdija and Ish Smith. Additionally, Russell Westbrook and Raul Neto are questionable. In order to have enough players to restart their season, the Wizards signed forward Jordan Bell and center Alex Len.
A loss against a short-handed and rusty Wizards team would be a big setback for the Spurs. A win would push the Spurs back over .500 and hopefully recapture some of the momentum that was lost recently.
San Antonio Spurs Injury Update
Dejounte Murray twisted an ankle one minute into San Antonio’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. While he was unable to return to the game, the Spurs got some good news: Murray is available to play tonight against the Wizards. During the defeat, it was obvious that the Spurs missed Murray’s presence on both ends of the court.
While San Antonio’s starting point guard is back, the Spurs are still expected to be without Drew Eubanks (COVID-19 protocols) and Quinndary Weatherspoon (knee surgery). Both players are expected to be back in action in the next few games. Derrick White (toe fracture) is still sidelined on a timeline that is measured in weeks, not days.
Spurs vs. Wizards: How the Spurs Can Win
If Westbrook misses the game, the Wizards will basically be a one-man show. That said, Bradley Beal has proven to be able to carry a large load. He’s averaging 34.9 points per game this season, while shooting 49.4% from the field, 37.5% on three-pointers and 87.4% at the line. The Spurs will likely throw a variety of looks at Beal including Lonnie Walker IV, Dejounte Murray and Devin Vassell. Keldon Johnson and Patty Mills could also get their turn at defending the Wizards superstar scorer.
While San Antonio should win this game, they can’t take anything for granted. They struggled when facing the short-handed Houston Rockets, so hopefully they learn from that and don’t suffer a letdown tonight.