The Victor Wembanyama Era is upon us. Tonight, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft will play his first career game when the San Antonio Spurs host the Dallas Mavericks at the Frost Bank Center.
During preseason play, Wembanyama wowed the basketball-playing world by averaging 19.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in only 20.8 minutes per game. He also hit 50.9% of his shots from the field and 85.7% of his free throws. San Antonio finished preseason with a record of 3-2.
San Antonio Spurs Injury Update
Zach Collins is dealing with an illness. The good news is that he was able to participate in San Antonio’s shootaround on Wednesday morning. That said, it’s not 100 percent clear yet whether Collins will be able to play tonight against the Mavericks.
Thankfully, the rest of the roster is healthy heading into the regular season. The Spurs had a few players miss time in the preseason but everyone other than Collins is good to go for tonight’s affair.
Dallas Mavericks Injury Update
The big question mark for Dallas heading into their season opener is the status of superstar Luka Doncic. The native of Slovenia is dealing with a calf injury. He is listed as questionable for the game but, like Zach Collins, was able to participate in shootaround.
If Doncic sits out, expect Kyrie Irving to try to carry the Mavericks to victory. Irving has had big performances against the Spurs in the past so it’s certainly possible for him to step into a superstar role tonight.
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
Four starters for head coach Gregg Popovich are set in stone: Jeremy Sochan at point guard, Devin Vassell at shooting guard, Keldon Johnson at small forward and, of course, Victor Wembanyama. If Zach Collins is healthy enough to play, he will start at center and Wembanyama will start at power forward.
What happens if Collins misses the game due to his illness? Most likely we’ll see Charles Bassey start at center. However, it’s possible that Popovich could shift Wembanyama to center in order to put a smaller lineup on the court.
Betting Guide: Spurs vs. Mavericks
Oddsmakers expect the Mavericks to win tonight’s game by four points. The smart money, however, is on the Spurs. With Luka Doncic’s availability in doubt, the Spurs being in front of their home fans and the excitement surrounding Wembanyama’s debut, San Antonio should exceed expectations.