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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Washington Wizards

The Spurs will look to make it nine wins in a row by beating a Wizards team that's seen better days.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs @ Washington Wizards

Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Date: 11/26/16, Time: 6:00 PM Spurs Time

The Spurs shook off a little post-Turkey Day malaise, then rode a hot-shooting bench to a win against a solid Celtics team yesterday. It wasn't a perfect performance, but those peripheral contributions -- including some very promising play from rookie Davis Bertans -- hint at the untapped potential this team still has. In the meantime the wins keep coming, as the good guys pushed their streak to eight.

They'll look to make it a sweep of their three-game East Coast road trip by beating the 5-9 Washington Wizards. They're led once again by the duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal, but the team is yet to come together in year one under former Thunder coach Scott Brooks. Beal and Wall have formed one of the more dysfunctional backcourts this side of the 96 Mavs, but they're still talented enough to shift a game.

But the Wizards are still looking for another guy to create offense in a system that lacks a bit of nuance. More worrying for them tonight -- they could be without one of those stars if the league takes any action after what happened last night in Orlando.

Staying in front of Wall

Bad things usually happen when Wall gets to his spots. Containing him will be a team effort, but the more that his primary defenders can help in that (presumably, Tony Parker and Patty Mills), the better.

That includes focusing on transition defense. The Wizards don't push the pace nearly as much as you'd expect, but they have the length to cause turnovers and finish in the open floor. It'd be silly if Wall and Washington's young wings didn't try to run a bit more than usual against the Spurs.

Hit those open threes

The Wiz are 29th in the league in three-point defense, allowing opponents to shoot 39.5% from deep. Patience and good ball movement should result in lots of open looks for a Spurs team that went 11 of 24 yesterday in Boston. More Davis, please.

Pau will probably not be held scoreless again

Gasol couldn't muster a point in 17 minutes against the Celtics. I noted it wasn't an ideal matchup in my preview, but that was still a surprise to me. In case you're curious, it was technically not the first time in his career that's happened. H/T Jeff McDonald at the Express-News:

The Spurs' big bench advantage

Andrew Nicholson has had his moments; Ian Mahinmi is a stout defender; Tomas Satoransky has some very interesting potential as a playmaker with size. That's all I can really say about the Wizards reserves, who I don't think can keep up with San Antonio's. It'll likely take a big night from Washington's starters for them to pull off the win.


San Antonio Spurs

(Record: 13-3)

Washington Wizards

(Record: 5-9)

November 26, 2016

Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

6:00 PM CDT



Tony Parker


John Wall

Danny Green


Bradley Beal

Kawhi Leonard


Otto Porter

LaMarcus Aldridge


Markieff Morris

Pau Gasol


Marcin Gortat

Vegas line: Spurs by 6.

Game prediction: Spurs by 9.

For the Wizards fans' perspective, visit Bullets Forever.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher.

As always, PtR's Gamethread will be up this evening for those who want to chat through the game. But if you're not able to log in here, you can try the Fanvana app which helps connect sports fans and was created by a fellow Spurs fan. Check out the free app on iOS or Android to discover other Spurs fans and join the live chatter for tonight's game. You can follow PtR's tweet stream directly on Fanvana as the game unfolds.