Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Philadelphia 76ers – Game #53

The San Antonio Spurs have lost seven straight games. The Spurs will try to end that losing streak tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers. San Antonio has a record of 14-38, which is the third worst record in the NBA.

The Sixers are 33-17 on the season. Philadelphia has won eight of their last nine games. After starting the season 12-12, they are 21-5 since then. 

This is the second and final meeting between the Spurs and the 76ers this season. In San Antonio’s third game of the season, they defeated the Sixers in Philadelphia by a final score of 114-105. That remains one of the better wins by the Silver and Black this season. Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson scored 22 points and 21 points in that game, respectively.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

The Spurs are suddenly dealing with a lot of injuries. First, Devin Vassell remains out until at least after the All-Star break due to an arthroscopic procedure on his knee. Also, Romeo Langford will miss his sixth straight game. Previously, Langford was starting in Vassell’s place at shooting guard.

Two new Spurs have joined the walking wounded. Tre Jones hurt his foot last game against the Sacramento Kings and he’ll miss tonight’s game against the 76ers. This will be only the second game Jones has missed all season.

Like Jones, Jeremy Sochan got injured in the Kings game. The rookie is out tonight against Philadelphia due to what the team is describing as a back injury.

Philadelphia 76ers Injury Update

Joel Embiid, who was named to the All-Star team recently, is questionable for tonight’s game against the Spurs. The 28-year-old is having another phenomenal season. He’s averaging 33.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists, while shooting 53.4% from the field, 35.5% from three-point range and 85.5% at the line.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

San Antonio’s starting lineup is suddenly difficult to predict. We know that head coach Gregg Popovich will start Keldon Johnson at forward and Jakob Poeltl at center. With Devin Vassell, Romeo Langford, Tre Jones and Jakob Poeltl all out of action, Popovich will need to pick three other starters.

We can confidently say Keita Bates-Diop will start. He has been starting since Langford’s injury. It’s also likely that Malaki Branham will start in place of Jones at point guard.

The most likely option for the fifth starter is Josh Richardson. Richardson has started three games this season and he’ll likely be needed to help Branham handle point guard duties.

Betting Guide: Spurs vs. 76ers

The Sixers are favored by 10.5 points and the over/under is 234.5 points. The smart money is on the Sixers to cover. The Spurs are out multiple starters. Without Tre Jones, San Antonio could really struggle to function offensively. Malaki Branham has done okay as the backup point guard but elevating the 19-year-old rookie to the starting role could result in a bumpy ride.

Additionally, James Harden should be extra fired up for Philadelphia. Despite averaging 21.4 points, 11.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds this season, Harden didn’t make the All-Star team. Even if Joel Embiid misses the game due to injury, expect a motivated Harden to be more than enough for the Sixers to dominate the action tonight.