Few of the current Spurs — only five, in fact — were in Mexico City three years ago when a generator malfunction smoked out the entire arena and caused a game between San Antonio and Minnesota to be postponed.
That’s one way of putting this season into context, as Gregg Popovich has managed to balance his new roster while tying the second-best start in franchise history. The Spurs are tied for the best defensive rating in the league and have the fourth-best offensive rating (the Warriors are the only team to be top-five in both metrics).
The Spurs and Suns have met twice already this season, with the Good Guys picking up wins of 15 and 21 points. Phoenix isn’t exactly tanking, but as they sit at the bottom of the West (tied now with Dallas after beating them a few days ago), they have no reason to not give their young guys as many minutes as possible.
This is technically an away game for Las Espuelas, which I suppose you’ll take on a neutral floor with a crowd that will certainly have its fair share of Silver and Black supporters. Don’t forget to note the early tip-off time!
San Antonio Spurs (31-8) at Phoenix Suns (12-27)
Jan. 14, 2016 | 5:00 CST
Watch: FSSW, NBA TV; Listen: 1200 AM WOAI
Spurs injuries: Dejounte Murray (ankle)
Suns injuries: none
Game numero dos for Suns in Mexico
There’s an obvious number two joke to be made here, but suffice it to say travel can have a negative impact on a basketball team. The Suns will have the benefit of having already played in Mexico City, which is 7,200 feet above sea level. Coach Earl Watson said he would attempt to use his team’s youth to their advantage, although he wasn’t able to turn that into a win on Thursday against Dallas.
The Spurs will have Kawhi this time
Speaking of stomach bugs, one kept Kawhi from playing the Suns in their last meeting. That didn’t keep them from winning by 21, though, and he’ll be in uniform tonight.
High-usage Devin Booker
The Suns are giving their 20-year-old guard all the reps he can handle — in pick and rolls, in the post and shooting off the catch. He almost always looks under control, which is all the more impressive given his age and that he’s not exactly surrounded with the best talent to keep defenses honest.
Booker went off for 39 points (28 of them in the fourth quarter) in their loss to Dallas two nights ago, but he’s had a tough time against the Spurs in their two meetings, shooting just 8 of 32 from the field. He’ll probably see a lot of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green tonight, which could make for another long night.
Vegas line: Spurs by 11.
Game prediction: Spurs by 13.
For the Suns fans’ perspective, visit Bright Side of the Sun.
As always Tony must dominate Fisher.
PtR's Gamethread will be up this evening for those who want to chat through the game. You can also follow along with the action through PtR's Twitter feed.