The San Antonio Spurs will host fans for the first time this season inside the AT&T Centre when they face the Orlando Magic who are playing on the back end of a back to back. This will be their first time seeing each other this season with another game scheduled for the 12th of April.
San Antonio is coming into the game after a bad loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, where they got beat up in the second half of that contest. The Magic lost the front end of their back to back against the Miami Heat; 103 to 111.
The home team will get Devin Vassell back for the first time since the Atlanta Hawks game a few weeks before the All-Star Break. Vassell had been dealing with the COVID virus the last few weeks. After the rookie had recovered, Coach Pop kept him out a little longer in order to help him get his fitness back. One in, one out for San Antonio, as DeMar DeRozan will miss the game for personal reasons.
San Antonio Spurs (18-15) vs. Orlando Magic (13-24)
March 12, 2021 | 8:00 PM CST
Watch: FSSW | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)
Spurs Injuries: DeMar DeRozan (Out — Personal Reasons), LaMarcus Aldridge (Out — Away From Team)
Magic Injuries: Evan Fournier (Out — Strained Left Groin)
Stand up for DeMar
The Spurs are 1-2 without DeMar DeRozan this season with the losses coming to the Minnesota Timberwovles and the Oklahoma City Thunder. That is not positive. The Spurs are going to need someone or someone’s to step up in the absent of their best player. DeMar DeRozan had 30 points and 11 assists against the Mavericks, therefore San Antonio is going to need around 45+ points to be contributed by the rest of the guys. Can they do it? Sure they can, but it may have to be by committee as the Spurs outside of DeRozan don’t have someone who can give you 30+ points and 10+ assists on a regular basis.
Although if someone is to produce numbers like DeRozan against the Magic who are the most likely candidates? Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, Derrick White? These three are the most obvious due to them all being starters, but none of their regular season career high is more than 29. (Dejounte 29, Keldon 29, Derrick 26).
Stop the Vuč
The Orlando Magic may be five games back in the win column from San Antonio but unlike their foes they actual have an All Star, let me introduce you to; Nikola Vučević. Talk about putting a team on your back, Vučević embodies that as this year the Orlando Magic have suffered season ending injury time after time. It’s gotten to the point now where it feels like Vučević vs the World. Nikola is averaging a career high 24.6 points while collecting 11.6 rebound and dishing 3.7 assists all while shooting 48% from the field and a WHOPPING 41% from three. These are All Star stats and even though the team isn’t very good what Vučević has done this seasons should not be understated.
If the Spurs want to bounce back and win this game, the formula is simple. Stop the Vuč, Win the Game. Outside of Nikola the Spurs shouldn’t have to worry about too much, Orlando is not a very good offensive team and have players who struggle to create their own shot outside of their All Star of course. This is a very winnable game for San Antonio, but so often this season the Silver & Black have played up to their opponents but also played down to their opponents skill level. Let’s hope tomorrow isn’t a repeat of one of those games and San Antonio play to their strengths and win by committee in the absent of their SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALL STAR DeMar Darnell DeRozan.
For the Magic fans’ perspective, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.
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.