Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Chicago Bulls – Game #54

The San Antonio Spurs have lost eight straight games and will look to end their slump on Monday night in Chicago against the Bulls. In their last 18 games, the Spurs only have two wins.

With a record of 14-39, only two teams have worse records in the NBA than the Spurs. San Antonio is now only one game ahead of the Houston Rockets for the worst record in the league.

The Bulls enter this game with a record of 25-27. However, despite their unimpressive sub-.500 record, they’ve won three of their last four games. Chicago currently sits in the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference, which means they have work to do to make the playoffs.

This will be the second and final meeting between the Spurs and the Bulls. Back in October, the Spurs beat the Bulls by a final score of 129-124. In that game, DeMar DeRozan had 33 points for the Bulls but Keldon Johnson matched it with 33 points of his own. That win improved the Spurs to 4-2 on the season.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Devin Vassell is out for at least another couple weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery. The question marks on Monday night are Romeo Langford, Jeremy Sochan and Tre Jones.

Langford has missed the last six games, while Sochan and Jones missed last game against the Philadelphia 76ers. All three players were starting before getting hurt. Add in Vassell and the Spurs are basically missing four starters.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

Head coach Gregg Popovich will likely start Romeo Langford, Jeremy Sochan or Tre Jones if any of the three are able to play. The other starters that we know of are Jakob Poeltl at center and Keldon Johnson at small forward.

If Jones misses the game, expect Malaki Branham to start in his place at point guard. Other players who will step into a starting role if needed are Keita Bates-Diop and Josh Richardson — in that order.

Spurs Begin Rodeo Road Trip

Considering that the Spurs are riding an eight-game losing streak, the timing isn’t great for the start of San Antonio’s annual Rodeo Road Trip. The Spurs won’t play another hope game until March. During their time on the road, the Spurs will play nine road games. The first six of those games will be before the All-Star break.

The first six days of the Rodeo Road Trip are particularly difficult. While the opponents aren’t elite, they play four games in six days while traveling in between each game. Adding to the difficulty is that the trade deadline is on Thursday — which means some players may be on the moving during this stretch.

Betting Guide: Spurs at Bulls

The Bulls are favored by 9.5 points over the Spurs on Monday night. Given the injury question marks and San Antonio’s overall slump, the smart money is on the Bulls. The Spurs don’t have a ton of point guard talent on their roster as it is — so missing Tre Jones and/or Jeremy Sochan really hurts. Chicago has played better lately and they will likely keep it rolling this evening.