The Spurs are travelling again, this time on a road trip that will take them across the American Midwest, beginning in Indianapolis, Indiana today against the Pacers. After their 116-96 loss in late October in the Alamo City, the Spurs will be looking to not only avenge that loss, but to try and get on track after a porous November in which they’ve gone 3-7, including an absolute heart-breaker to the Grizzlies on Wednesday night, to put them at 8-9 overall on the season.
November 23rd, 2018 | 7:00 CT
Watch: FSSW | Listen: WOAI
Spurs (8-9) at Pacers (11-7)
San Antonio Spurs
Dejounte Murray (Out Indefinitely - Knee), Lonnie Walker IV (Targeting December Return - Knee), Pau Gasol (Day to Day - Foot)
Victor Oladipo (sore right knee) - out
Yeah, the Spurs dropped a very winnable game Wednesday night against the Grizzlies, with some rather questionable calls going for the visiting team in the final moments. The Spurs have been dismal on the road so far, with a 2-6 record that continues a trend going back to last season, but the effort they showed on Wednesday night on the defensive end should give fans some hope going forward that their road record can be salvaged, even though it didn’t result in a win.
The Spurs are also catching a break with the possibility that Oladipo will miss yet another game with a troublesome right knee that has kept him out of the Pacers’ last two contests. Oladipo, the Pacer’s leading scorer, carved up the Spurs when these two teams last met to the tune of 21 points (7/12 shooting, 3/6 from three), 5 rebounds, and 9 assists.
If the Spurs want to win this game and right the ship, they will have to bring the defensive effort we saw from them Wednesday against the Grizzlies and Monday night against the Warriors. Allowing the Pacers to shoot 53% from the field didn’t cut it in October, and it would spell disaster in Indy. Minimizing turnovers to prevent fast break points will also play in the Spurs’ favor, as well as their usual emphasis on the defensive glass.
On offense, it’ll take an efficient showing from LaMarcus Aldridge to help the Spurs pull this one out. It is no secret that Aldridge is off to a rough start this season in terms of shooting percentage, making 41% overall on the season. That number drops to 40% on the road, where he is also scoring 5 points less per game as well (19.7 at home compared to 14.5 on the road). Thankfully, Aldridge is looking for other ways to contribute, with defense and crashing the boards, where he is averaging nearly 12 per game on the road. For the Spurs to have any shot in this one, they’ll need an efficient shooting night from the big fella to go along with his other contributions.
Vegas odds: Spurs by 2.5
Game Prediction: Spurs by 5
For the Pacers’ perspective, check out Indy Cornrows