Scrimmage Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Milwaukee Bucks

After an extended time away due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Antonio Spurs will be back in action on Thursday at 2 p.m. Playing inside the NBA’s bubble in Orlando, Florida, the Spurs will take on the Milwaukee Bucks in a scrimmage.

While the Bucks have the best record in the NBA, neither team will look at this game as anything other than a glorified preseason affair. The main goals will be to shake off a little bit of rust and avoid injuries.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

San Antonio’s starting lineup is a mystery heading into the NBA’s restart. Big men LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles are sidelined due to shoulder surgery and appendicitis, respectively.

Jakob Poeltl is likely to start at center. The starting power forward will be more of a question mark, although Rudy Gay is the most likely option. Another possibility is DeMar DeRozan sliding to power forward and Lonnie Walker IV starting at small forward.

In the backcourt, Dejounte Murray and Bryn Forbes are the likely starters.

Extended Minutes for Young Players

Given that this game against the Bucks is only a scrimmage, expect to see a lot of young players play extra minutes. Lonnie Walker IV, Keldon Johnson, Drew Eubanks, Chimezie Metu and Luka Samanic will all likely play extended minutes on Thursday afternoon.

Following the three scrimmages, the Spurs will play eight final regular season games. Head coach Gregg Popovich has stated that he plans to use those games for developmental purposes. If that is indeed the case, those same young players could continue seeing time on the court.

Spurs Players to Watch

Back when the regular season stopped, Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poeltl were sidelined due to injuries. While both players should be healed due to the extended rest, the coaching staff will likely keep a close eye on both players for any signs of a lingering issue.

If the Spurs are going to have a breakout player in Orlando, two young players who could emerge are Lonnie Walker IV and Keldon Johnson. Walker has had his ups and downs this season but his athleticism gives him a relatively high ceiling. Johnson, on the other hand, isn’t as athletic as Walker but Johnson plays with a ferocity and a passion that could turn heads over the next few weeks.