Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Detroit Pistons – Game #39

The San Antonio Spurs (12-26) have the fourth worst record in the NBA. The Detroit Pistons (11-30) have the third worst record in the NBA. Tonight, these two teams play in San Antonio.

While the players on each team will try to win, there’s no doubt that Spurs fans and Pistons fans will watch this game with Victor Wembanyama in mind.

The Spurs have lost three straight games and four of their last five games. In their last three games, San Antonio lost close games to the New York Knicks and Dallas Maverick and got blown by the Brooklyn Nets.

Compared to the Spurs, the Pistons have actually had quite a bit of success recently. In their last game, Saddiq Bey hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to lift Detroit passed the Golden State Warriors, 122-119. In their last five games, the Pistons have three wins.

The only teams in the NBA with worse records than the Spurs and Pistons are the Houston Rockets and Charlotte Hornets, who are both 10-29 on the season.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

There’s some bad news on the Devin Vassell front. Vassell has been bothered by knee soreness for a majority of the season. The Spurs announced that Vassell will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery within the week and he’ll be sidelined for an indefinite period of time. It’s safe to say we won’t see him in Silver and Black for quite a while.

Vassell was arguably the brightest spot of the season for San Antonio. The 22-year-old is averaging 19.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Vassell is also hitting 44.5% from the field, including 40.4% of three-pointers. He has also hit 79.3% of his free throws.

Against the Pistons, the Spurs may also be without Josh Richardson and Keita Bates-Diop. Richardson is listed as questionable due to a bruised right quad. Bates-Diop missed the last three games due to a non-COVID-19 illness. Versus Detroit, he’s listed as probable.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

With Devin Vassell out for the foreseeable future, the Spurs will need to settle on a new starting lineup. The most likely answer is Tre Jones at point guard, Romeo Langford at shooting guard, Keldon Johnson at small forward, Jeremy Sochan at power forward and Jakob Poeltl at center.

Off the bench, expect head coach Gregg Popovich to play Zach Collins at center, Doug McDermott at forward, Stanley Johnson at forward and Malaki Branham at guard. If Josh Richardson is able to go, he too will play off the bench at a guard position. If Richardson can’t go, we might see Blake Wesley play for the first time since October. Wesley was the 25th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Betting Guide: Spurs vs. Pistons

The Spurs are favored by 1.5 points and the over/under is 236 points. The smart money tonight is on the Spurs to cover the 1.5-point spread. San Antonio is playing at home and even without Devin Vassell and possibly Josh Richardson, they should have enough firepower to beat the Pistons. Overall, these are two evenly matched teams but the Spurs being in the AT&T Center should make all the difference.