Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers – Game #15

Playing their second game in as many days, the San Antonio Spurs hope that tonight will go better than last night. The Golden State Warriors easily handled the Spurs by a final score of 132-95 (see the Grades) to hand the Spurs an emphatic lose in their first game of a five-game road trip. Tonight, San Antonio heads north to take on the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Spurs, 6-8, will hope that their top two scorers play better than they did against the Warriors. Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell combined for 21 points on 8-for-26 shooting from the floor.

The Blazers, 9-4, are tied with the Denver Nuggets for the top seed in the Western Conference. While they’ve won three of their last four games, they’re coming off of a 117-112 loss in Dallas against the Mavericks. In that game, Jerami Grant had 37 points, six rebounds and two blocks for the Blazers, and Damian Lillard had 29 points and 12 assists.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

The Spurs injury report is basically the same as it was last night. Zach Collins (non-displaced fracture), Blake Wesley (torn MCL), Malaki Branham (sprained ankle) and Romeo Langford (health and safety protocols) remain out.

The big difference is that Tre Jones is questionable with a stomach illness. Jones wasn’t able to play against the Warriors and that led to head coach Gregg Popovich experimenting with Jeremy Sochan at point guard.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

It’s a very safe bet that Jakob Poeltl will start at center, Keldon Johnson will start at small forward and Devin Vassell will start at shooting guard. If Tre Jones is healthy enough to play, expect him to start at point guard and Jeremy Sochan to start at power forward.

If Jones ends up missing a second straight game, Popovich will likely again go with Sochan at point guard and Keita Bates-Diop at power forward.

Extended Minutes for Jordan Hall?

With so many guards out of the lineup for the Spurs, it looks like the perfect opportunity to play Jordan Hall more minutes. Last night, Hall finished with six points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal while hitting 3-of-7 shots from the field.

If the stomach illness causes Jones to skip tonight’s contest, Hall could help with some of the point guard duties — even if Sochan remains the starter. Hall played point guard in college at Saint Joseph’s and it already looks like he’s one of the better passers on San Antonio’s roster.

Betting Guide: Spurs at Blazers

The Blazers are favored by 8.5 points and the over/under is set at 226.5 points. Considering that Tre Jones is unlikely to be at 100%, taking the under looks like the best bet. Without Jones, the Spurs are likely to struggle to score. Even if Jones plays, he’s unlikely to be completely healthy. Furthermore, the Blazers have been one of the better defensive teams in the Western Conference so it could be challenging for San Antonio to put a lot of points on the board on the second night of a back-to-back.