San Antonio Spurs vs. Philadelphia 76ers Preview
In an interconference matchup in the bubble today, we’ll have a matchup between a team in the Philadelphia 76ers, who have a guaranteed spot in the postseason, and the San Antonio Spurs, who are fighting for a play-in game to extend their playoff streak to 23 consecutive seasons.
Philadelphia is 39-27 on the season and currently sit in sixth place and seem set for a first-round matchup with the Boston Celtics if things don’t change much in the next seven games for them. They lost their first game of the restart and are a full game back of the Indiana Pacers.
The Spurs, meanwhile, started the restart in 12th place with their chances looking bleak, but they have rocketed up to ninth place in the Western Conference. Their two wins so far and some help from the Lakers, give them a half-game cushion to grab that play-in spot, but every game is crucial to them, and with them being a little light due to injury in the frontcourt, they’ll be tested against a traditionally big team in the 76ers.
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Arena: VISA Athletic Center, Orlando, FL
Channel: FSSW-SA, NBCSP
Live Stream Spurs vs. 76ers Free Online: Watch Every NBA Game
Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge (O), Trey Lyles (O), Bryn Forbes (O), Marco Belinelli (DTD)
76ers: Mike Scott (O), Kyle O’Quinn (O), Glenn Robinson III (O)
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
The San Antonio Spurs have started off their play in the bubble with two consecutive wins, one of only four teams that can say that so far. Aside from looking like a completely different team in those two wins, this team has been a surprise considering they lost one of their top two players in LaMarcus Aldridge, and Trey Lyles is also out, which has left them a little light up front.
But being forced to make adjustments and play younger players considerable minutes has paid dividends for San Antonio. However, Spurs center Jakob Poeltl still seems laser-focused on the ultimate goal for the team.
“I don’t really think it matters where we stand after (two wins),” Poeltl said. “It’s going to matter where we stand after the eight games. Obviously, against the teams that are in the fight with us, like Sacramento (and Memphis), it’s going to mean a little more. These are going to be sort of must-win games.”
With Memphis sitting in the eighth seed, the Spurs needed a win last night, and while it was a nail-biter down to the last few seconds, San Antonio secured the win 108-106. Dejounte Murray came up big with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and his backcourt mate Derrick White had 16 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.
DeMar DeRozan has taken on a bit of a different role, but he proved to be as important as ever down the stretch in the crucial minutes as he finished with 14 points and seven assists. Lonnie Walker IV and Poeltl continue to contribute regularly, and the second unit has performed well, especially as they got Patty Mills back. Mills, Rudy Gay, Keldon Johnson, and Drew Eubanks have all been asked to either play more minutes or adjust their roles and the Spurs have benefitted because of that.
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
The Philadelphia 76ers did not start off the restart the way they hoped, as they dropped their first game 127-121 to the Indiana Pacers, with TJ Warren going off for 53 points.
“It was some humble pie, to be honest, to really affirm to us that any team at any time can have a good game and can beat you,” said forward Tobias Harris.
The 76ers hope to get back on track tonight as they catch the Spurs on the second night of a back-to-back. But if they are going to do so, they really need more help from their starting backcourt of Shake Milton and Josh Richardson, who together had just four points and four assists.
Especially coming off a game where Joel Embiid had 41 points and 21 rebounds, coach Brett Brown has to be looking at attacking the Spurs front line, especially with DeMar DeRozan starting at power forward. If Embiid is able to get Jakob Poeltl in foul trouble, he will have mismatches with both Drew Eubanks and Rudy Gay and will likely force Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to play Tyler Zeller more minutes than he’d like.
At the same time, Brown will be keeping a close eye on Milton to see if he has to revert back to using Ben Simmons at point guard if Milton struggles and continues to get into foul trouble.
Spurs vs. 76ers Fantasy Basketball Angle
Joel Embiid is an easy pick here. He’s projected for 50.9 points on FanDuel for a salary of just $9.7k, giving your team a great value player that won’t break the bank. Another value pick is Tobias Harris, who will have a mismatch with DeMar DeRozan. He’s projected to finish with 34 points and is available for $6.8k.
Picking a Spurs player has been difficult lately because several players have looked good in different spots. Dejounte Murray is coming off a big night, but it would be best to save him for a value pickup closer to the end of your lineup. DeRozan struggled in scrimmages, but he’s been there and has had big moments in the first two wins. He’s an $8k pickup and is projected for 39 points.
Spurs vs. 76ers Betting Odds
Spurs Odds: +225
76ers Odds: -275
The 76ers are seven-point favorites to win tonight’s game and there seems to have been some line movement. The Spurs are 27-37 against the spread and 14-23 as the underdog. Philadelphia is 28-35 against the spread and 34-12 as the favorite.
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