Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – Game #27

Not long ago, the San Antonio Spurs were mired in an 11-game losing streak. Tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Spurs will try to win their third straight game. San Antonio, with a record of 8-18 on the season, is coming off of wins against the Houston Rockets (see the Grades) and Miami Heat (see the Grades).

The Cavs, 17-10, are currently the third seed in the Eastern Conference. In their last five games, the Cavs are 3-2 and have rotated wins and losses. In their last outing, Cleveland is coming off of a 110-102 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Unfortunately for the Spurs, they are still dealing with multiple notable injuries. Three players are out for tonight’s game. Jakob Poeltl remains sidelined with a bone bruise in his right knee. Keita Bates-Diop is out again with a sprained left foot. Blake Wesley, who has been out since the end of October, continues to work his way back from a torn MCL.

Two players are questionable against the Cavaliers. Jeremy Sochan, who has missed the last five games due to a bruised quad, is questionable and will be a game-time decision. Keldon Johnson is also questionable due to a stomach illness.

The Spurs have recalled Dominick Barlow from the G League and he’ll be in uniform tonight.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

The starting lineup for the Spurs is difficult to predict. We know that Tre Jones will start at point guard and Zach Collins will start at center. If Keldon Johnson can play, he will start. If Jeremy Sochan can play, he too would likely be in the starting lineup.

Will Devin Vassell start? Maybe. He came off the bench last game after missing a game with knee soreness. Head coach Gregg Popovich may opt to bring him off again versus Cleveland.

Romeo Langford has started and played well recently, so he’s likely to be in the starting lineup one way or another. If the Spurs need a fifth player to round out their starters, Popovich has recently been playing rookie Malaki Branham with the starters.

Off the bench, expect the leading minute-getters to be Josh Richardson, Doug McDermott and Charles Bassey.

Donovan Mitchell Injury Update

Donovan Mitchell is questionable tonight for the Cavs. If he doesn’t play, that would really increase San Antonio’s chances of winning the game.

Mitchell is having the best season of his career in his first year with the Cavaliers. The 26-year-old is averaging 29.0 points, 4.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. He’s shooting 49.6% from the field, 42.4% from three-point range and 89.0% from the free throw line. The points, field goal percentage, three-point percentage and free throw percentage are all career highs.

Cleveland traded for Mitchell in the offseason after he played the first five seasons of his career with the Utah Jazz.

Betting Guide: Spurs vs. Cavaliers

The Cavaliers are favored by 9.5 points tonight and the over/under is set at 220 points. The smart money tonight is on the Cavs to win and cover the point spread. While the Spurs have been able to win two straight games, the injury list is just too overwhelming to put money on the Spurs. If Keldon Johnson misses the game and Vassell is still coming off the bench, San Antonio wouldn’t stand a chance.