San Antonio Spurs at Philadelphia 76ers Preview
While the Philadelphia 76ers have had a few struggles this season, they’ve been perfect at home, which is not a good sign for the reeling San Antonio Spurs coming into Wells Fargo Center needing a win.
San Antonio started the season a perfect 3-0, but they have not had much success since. They are 5-10 on the season, have plummeted to 13th in the Western Conference and have lost their last seven consecutive games, tying a Spurs record as they hope to put an end to that skid tonight. But the Spurs are just 1-6 on the road.
Philadelphia, on the other hand, is 5-0 at home. They are 9-5 on the season, have won their last two games and currently sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
Time: 8 PM ET
Arena: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Spurs: Derrick White (Q)
76ers: Josh Richardson, Trey Burke (Q)
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
The San Antonio Spurs aren’t exactly getting blown out in their games over the last seven games. They have been in games, but never seem to be able to get over the hump, something Spurs coach Gregg Popovich spoke about recently.
“We’re giving up 10, 15 points to start, getting into a hole. And then we’re doing a great job of digging ourselves out and getting back into games. … But going down by a bundle, it’s always hard coming back, but we seem to be doing both,” Popovich said. “If we can cut out the former, maybe we can get back on the winning track.”
Popovich has begun tinkering with his lineup a little. Patty Mills and Jakob Poeltl have been solid off the bench, so they were named starters prior to the Spurs’ 138-102 loss to the Washington Wizards. The offense has not been a problem for the Spurs, as they are consistently ranked in the top five, but their defense is consistently among the league’s lowest.
There’s no better evidence of that than the Spurs having eight players reach double figures against the Wizards, with DeMar DeRozan leading them with 31 points. The Spurs also couldn’t stop Bradley Beal from scoring 33 and allowing two second unit players to score 21 points apiece.
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
The Philadelphia 76ers got a scare from the New York Knicks on Wednesday night until a 35-point fourth-quarter put them ahead for the win. In the game, Ben Simmons made his first three-pointer of the season.
“He looked great. He’s 23 years old. He’s gone from a college four-man to an NBA point guard, to an NBA All-Star and was rewarded with a significant contract,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “His progression has been pretty good, so this is a small step, but a step, towards the other pieces of his growth.”
Simmons finished with 18 points, 13 assists, and seven rebounds. Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris also joined him in double figures. Embiid had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Harris finished with 14 points.
Philly’s bench has also been solid lately. Mike Scott, James Ennis, Trey Burke, and rookie Matisse Thybulle combined for 39 points.
Key Player Matchups
LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Al Horford
Aldridge and Horford are very similar in build and in offensive style, but Horford is the better defender. Aldridge has been very inconsistent lately, so it’ll be interesting to see how he performs against Horford.
DeMar DeRozan vs. Tobias Harris
Philadelphia’s lineup is built around mismatches, but sometimes that could be a disadvantage when you have bigger players that may not be fast enough to keep up defensively. Harris is more of a true power forward and DeRozan is more of a shooting guard, but Harris is athletic, but we’ll see if he can stay in front of DeRozan, who has played very well for San Antonio lately.
DeMar DeRozan and Joel Embiid are fantasy studs for tonight. While DeRozan isn’t putting up the assist numbers he was last season that made him more of a fantasy value, he’s also been scoring a ton of points. He is available on FanDuel for $7.7k with a projection of 37.87 points. Embiid, however, will contribute to more categories. He has a salary of $9.3k and is projected for 49.63 points.
Tobias Harris is a fantasy value at $6.2k. He is projected for 33.5 points. Bryn Forbes is coming off a big game and has been consistent for the Spurs this season. If you’re looking for a player to help with your three-point shooting, Forbes has a salary of $5.2k and is projected for 20.04 points.
Bet on Matchup
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