The Spurs this week have two games on the road and one at home. San Antonio is currently undefeated on the road, and are looking to add another win at home facing off against the Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, and the LA Lakers.
Monday, 14 November 2016 at 08:30 PM ET Home
San Antonio last season had a record number of home wins with a record of 40-1. This season already showed them three losses at home against the Jazz, Clippers, and Rockets. The Spurs, however, have already played against Miami earlier in the season with a 106-99 win, and have an established blueprint on how to defeat them. As seen in the previous matchup, the game was based on a matter of runs from both teams star players. Kawhi Leonard took the Spurs over the edge in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 27 points in the last 6 minutes, and Hassan Whiteside provided exceptional play all game with 27 points and 15 rebounds. This time around, the Heat have more spacing options as Josh Richardson is back on the court, but to counter his productivity, Danny Green is back and has been admirable on the defensive end.
The Spurs will look to remove all the options around Whiteside as there is a minimal threat outside of Dragic who can control the offense. The Dragic and Whiteside pick and roll are heavily used, and as long as Dragic is contained, Whiteside’s touches will be reduced drastically compared to the last game. Pau Gasol did not contain him very well, but he was able to provide some offensive power to compensate for a victory. If the defense is smothering, a home win should be within reach.
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 at 10:30 PM ET Away
Sacramento’s primary option of DeMarcus Cousins can command a victory against San Antonio, but the pieces around him have to come out and perform. Rudy Gay is the second option, and he did not have a favorable performance as he shot 30% from the field garnering 17 points in the previous matchup. Kawhi Leonard made his job a nightmare as he dropped 30 points along with five steals that night, and as long as the defense stays consistent, the Kings start to become limited on the offensive end. With Danny Green coming back, the Kings are looking even more restricted as the likes of Afflalo and Lawson will appear nonexistent on the floor. As long as San Antonio manages to choke off everyone except DeMarcus Cousins, they should be able to pull off another win.
Los Angeles Lakers
Friday, 18 November 2016 at 10:30 PM ET Away
The Lakers have impressed everyone as of late, and San Antonio will be another proving ground for the young squad on Friday. The Lakers bench unit is currently the best lineup in the NBA, and it will be interesting to see two of the best benches in the league go at it. The Lakers will give San Antonio some trouble as they are athletic and can switch on defense without any significant repercussions. Larry Nance Jr., Brandon Ingram, and Jordan Clarkson provide the length necessary to stop just about any lineup in the league, and Popovich may have some struggles answering to such a line up. We should expect more of Dedmon if Pau Gasol gets lost in the dust, and same goes for the likes of Tony Parker. LaMarcus Aldridge may have some difficulty with the likes of Luol Deng on defense, but he needs to be able to overcome such a challenge as Kawhi should not be carrying the team on his back, especially against an athletic team such as the Lakers. In the end, a majority of the matchup will be dependent on the bench play of the Lakers to compensate for Kawhi and Aldridge against the starting unit.