Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Washington Wizards – Game #60

The San Antonio Spurs come into tonight’s game riding a two-game winning streak. They’ve also won four of their previous five contests. However, it’s the Washington Wizards that will be the hottest team in the building.

The Wizards have won eight straight games and ten of their last 11. At 27-33, they’re now the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference, two games behind the Indiana Pacers and two games ahead of the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors.

The Spurs, with a record of 30-29, are currently the ninth seed in the Western Conference. They’re one game behind the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies and one and a half games behind the seventh-seeded Portland Trail Blazers. The Golden State Warriors, with a record of 31-30, are right on San Antonio’s heels.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Rudy Gay missed last game, a Spurs win over the New Orleans Pelicans, with back soreness. For tonight’s game against the Wizards, he’s listed as questionable. If he misses the game, Devin Vassell, Luka Samanic and Keita Bates-Diop will move up in the rotation.

Lonnie Walker IV is also questionable for tonight’s contest with a headache. The good news is that the Spurs say the headache is not COVID-19 related. If Walker is forced to sit out, Vassell would be first in line to take on those minutes.

Trey Lyles remains out with an ankle injury.

Washington Wizards Injury Update

Russell Westbrook is questionable for tonight’s game with an ankle injury. If he sits out, that would be a big blow for the Wizards. After a slow start to the season, Westbrook has played great basketball recently. Since the All-Star break, he’s averaging 23.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 12.1 assists per game.

Robin Lopez is also listed as questionable for the game against the Spurs. Like Westbrook, Lopez has been playing very well since the All-Star break. In that span of 26 games, he’s averaging 9.5 points in 18.7 minutes per game on 68.6% shooting from the field.

Defense Powering the San Antonio Spurs

Why have the Spurs played better recently? The answer is defense. Over their last ten games, the Spurs are giving up only 107.0 points per 100 possessions. That’s the fourth best mark in the NBA over that period of time.

Which player on the Spurs has led the defensive charge? In the last ten games, opponents are averaging 100.6 points per 100 possessions when Drew Eubanks is on the court. Of the starters, Derrick White (103.3) and Dejounte Murray (104.1) grade out as the best using the same metric.