Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets – Game #11

The San Antonio Spurs (5-5) will look to get revenge against the Denver Nuggets (6-3) on Monday night in the AT&T Center. On Saturday, the Nuggets defeated the Spurs in Denver by a final score of 126-101. San Antonio trailed by 19 points at halftime and they were never able to claw their way back in the second half.

Tonight, the Spurs will hope that their home cooking makes a difference. Keldon Johnson (25 points, four assists and three rebounds) and Devin Vassell (20 points, four rebounds and four assists) played well but the duo didn’t get much help (see the Grades).

The Nuggets were led by two-time MVP Nikola Jokic. In 27 minutes, Jokic carved up the Spurs to the tune of 21 points, ten assists and six rebounds on 9-for-10 shooting from the field. Off the bench, Bones Hyland poured in 24 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 25 minutes.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Romeo Langford and Zach Collins remain out for the Spurs. Langford (toe) and Collins (leg) missed the previous game against the Nuggets. Two other players on the roster are also unavailable: Dominick Barlow is with the Austin Spurs and Blake Wesley has a torn MCL that will likely keep him out until at least January.

Jordan Hall, who was previously listed as probable with a sore foot, is available for tonight’s game. Charles Bassey, who dominated in two games with Austin in the G League, has also been called up to San Antonio.

Over the course of two games in the G League, Bassey had 52 points, 25 rebounds and eight blocks in only 53 minutes. He hit 23-of-35 shots from the field including 2-of-6 from three-point range.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

The starting lineup for the Spurs will depend on if Devin Vassell is still on a minutes restriction. Since returning from a sore knee, Vassell has been coming off the bench and he’s been limited to 25 minutes. If he’s limited again tonight, expect rookie Malaki Branham to start at shooting guard instead.

The other four starters are very likely to be Tre Jones at point guard, Keldon Johnson at small forward, Jeremy Sochan at power forward and Jakob Poeltl at center.

Off the bench, it’ll be interesting to see if Gorgui Dieng or Charles Bassey get the center minutes. The Spurs may throw Bassey into the fire to see if his G League play will translate to the NBA.

Betting Guide: Spurs vs. Nuggets

The Nuggets are favored by 7.5 points tonight. The over/under is set at 234 points. Considering how much Denver dominated the last game, it’d be difficult to bet on the Spurs to cover. The over/under is also difficult to judge due to how inconsistent the Spurs have been during their current three-game losing streak.

The best bet tonight is to take the over on Jakob Poeltl’s point total of 12.5 points. Last game, Poeltl scored eight points in the game’s first four minutes. Out of the gates, the Spurs were obviously trying to tire Nikola Jokic by forcing him to play defense. In this evening’s game, getting the ball early and often to Poeltl will likely be San Antonio’s strategy. As long as the game is relatively close, Poeltl should be able to score 13 or more points.