The San Antonio Spurs play their first back-to-back game of the season tonight against the Indiana Pacers. Both the Spurs and the Pacers enter the contest sporting a record of 3-3.
After losing yesterday at home against the Toronto Raptors in overtime (see the Grades), San Antonio will try to bounce back on the road. The Spurs have actually won two straight games on the road heading into the affair against the Pacers.
Indiana is 2-2 at home this season. In their latest game, they lost 125-124 at home versus the Charlotte Hornets. The Pacers got 43 points and 12 assists from Tyrese Haliburton but it wasn’t enough.
San Antonio Spurs Injury Update
The Spurs will once again be without Devin Vassell, who injured his groin in the most recent game against the Phoenix Suns. Unfortunately, the Spurs also have another starter who is dealing with an injury. Keldon Johnson is listed as questionable due to a sore left wrist. Being without Vassell and Johnson would obviously hurt San Antonio’s chances of winning against the Pacers.
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
Head coach Gregg Popovich will start Victor Wembanyama, Zach Collins and Jeremy Sochan. It can safely be assumed that Malaki Branham will start in place of Devin Vassell. If Keldon Johnson doesn’t play, Cedi Osman will likely be called upon to join the starting five. If not Osman, the next most likely player would probably be Julian Champagnie.
Victor Wembanyama Minutes Restriction?
Will Popovich limit Victor Wembanyama’s minutes when the Spurs are playing on the second night of a back-to-back during his rookie campaign? Tonight we’ll begin to get the answer to that question. It’s possible that Popovich will try to limit the wear and tear on his rookie. However, that’s not a certainty.
If Wembanyama plays fewer minutes, that could mean even more minutes for Cedi Osman, Doug McDermott and Julian Champagnie.
Betting Guide: Spurs at Pacers
The Pacers are favored by nine points against the Spurs. Oddsmakers are obviously looking at the fact that the Spurs are playing on the second night of a back-to-back and the fact that the Spurs have a couple of key injuries. That said, the smart money is on the Spurs to either win the game outright or lose by eight or less points.
Yes, being without both Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson would make things really challenging. However, these Spurs have proven they can do damage on the road. As long as Victor Wembanyama’s minutes aren’t severely limited, expect San Antonio to put up a fight.