Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets – Game #10

The San Antonio Spurs (5-4) will try to keep their record above .500 when they take on the Denver Nuggets (5-3) tonight on the road. While this will be the second game of a back-to-back, the Spurs actually have a better record on the road (3-1) than at home (2-3).

The Nuggets have won all three of their home games this season. Denver last played on Thursday when they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder by a final count of 122-110. Two-time Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic is having another fine season, averaging 20.3 points, 11.4 rebounds and a career-high 9.1 assists per game.

The Spurs are coming off of a 113-106 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last night (see the Grades). San Antonio rallied out of an early hole and actually took control of the game. In fourth quarter, though, the Clippers played with more cohesion and were able to pull away.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Romeo Langford will miss a second straight game due to a sore pinky toe and his left foot. Blake Wesley also remains out with his MCL sprain. Charles Bassey and Dominick Barlow are unavailable due to being with the Austin Spurs.

Two players are questionable for the Spurs tonight: Isaiah Roby and Zach Collins. Roby has missed three straight games with an illness but he traveled with the team to Denver and will attempt to give it a go tonight. Collins is dealing with a lower left leg contusion. Considering that he has had multiple surgeries on his left foot, the Spurs might be cautious and sit Collins tonight.

Devin Vassell Minutes Restriction

Last night, Devin Vassell was on a minutes restriction that didn’t allow him to play more than 25 minutes. He took advantage of those 25 minutes in a major way, scoring a career-high 29 points on 12-for-16 shooting from the field and 4-for-5 shooting from beyond the three-point line. 

Since this is a back-to-back, expect Vassell to be on a minutes restriction again versus the Nuggets. It’s likely that he won’t be allowed to play more than 20-25 minutes. Vassell missed four games due to a sore knee so the Spurs are being careful with him.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

Against the Clippers, Malaki Branham started at shooting guard next to Tre Jones at point guard, Keldon Johnson at small forward, Jeremy Sochan at power forward and Jakob Poeltl at center. Branham starting was due to Vassell’s minutes restriction. With that minutes restriction likely still in place and the fact that Langford is out with an injury, Branham will probably start again.

Previously, Josh Richardson had been starting in place of Vassell. However, with Joshua Primo gone and Wesley injured, Richardson is serving as the team’s backup point guard.

Betting Guide: Spurs at Nuggets

The Nuggets are favored against the Spurs by 11 points. The over/under is set at 235.5. The Spurs have done well on the road as underdogs this season. While Vassell’s minutes restriction is worrisome, taking the Spurs and the 11 points is the best bet for tonight’s contest.