Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – Preseason Game #5

The San Antonio Spurs will play their final preseason game tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder. After losing their first three outings of the preseason, the Spurs took home a win over the Utah Jazz in their last (see the Grades).

In the victory, San Antonio got outstanding performances from arguably the two most important pieces on their roster. Keldon Johnson finished with 22 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes, while Devin Vassell poured in 24 points in 22 minutes. 

The Spurs will try to keep the momentum flowing in a positive direction in tonight’s affair against the Thunder. Like the Spurs, the Thunder are projected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Against the Jazz, Keldon Johnson and Joshua Primo played for the first time after getting injured prior to training camp. Both players performed well and will likely play again this evening.

Josh Richardson and Zach Collins both missed the game in Salt Lake City. Richardson is dealing with a minor knee injury, while Collins is under concussion protocols. Both players are regarded as a game-time decision. 

Doug McDermott got injured against the Jazz after taking a hard spill and landing on his right wrist. X-rays after the game showed that he avoided a serious injury.

With the regular season set to begin on Oct. 19, don’t be surprised if head coach Gregg Popovich plays it safe and sits Richardson, Collins and McDermott tonight.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

Versus the Jazz, the Spurs started Jakob Poeltl at center, Jeremy Sochan at power forward, Keldon Johnson at small forward, Devin Vassell at shooting guard and Tre Jones at point guard. While that starting five played very well against Utah, Popovich was noncommittal about that unit being the full-time starting group going forward.

If there are to be changes to that starting lineup, one possibility is Joshua Primo starting in place of Jones at point guard. Primo was the backup point guard against the Jazz and Popovich may want to see what he looks like playing with the starters. 

Another option is Popovich going with more experience and replacing Sochan with Keita Bates-Diop at power forward.

Final Roster Cuts for the Spurs

The Spurs currently have 17 players under NBA contracts and two players under two-way contracts (Dominick Barlow and Jordan Hall). NBA teams are allowed to carry 15 NBA contracts and a pair of two-way contracts. That means the Spurs need to release two players with NBA contracts.

One player who looks like he’ll be cut is Alize Johnson. He doesn’t have any guaranteed money and hasn’t played much in the preseason.

The other cut will be more difficult. The Spurs could decide to cut Joe Wieskamp or Romeo Langford. Wieskamp, a second round pick last year, hasn’t shot well in preseason. Langford, a lottery pick by the Boston Celtics a few years ago, was playing poorly in preseason until a breakout game against the Jazz. Wieskamp and Langford both have guaranteed money on their contract — so it won’t be an easy decision.

Keita Bates-Diop has less guaranteed money owed to him but he has likely played too well in preseason to cut at this point.

Spurs vs. Thunder Betting Guide

The Spurs are actually favored in this game by one point. The over/under is set at 219.5. Considering that San Antonio’s defense is ahead of its offense right now, the safest bet is to take the under.