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In a battle of bad vs bad, bad always wins. But neither the OKC Thunder or San Antonio Spurs are truly bad teams, they’re just NBA bad. In a league where the average talent level is astronomical, just having a good collection of solid players that play well together isn’t going to win you a lot of games. Last night, the Spurs showed the potential to enter the realm of NBA competitiveness with some great performances from team stalwarts Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell and Jakob Poeltl, along with a breakout performance from rookie guard Malaki Branham, and also showed the fragile nature of NBA success with a near collapse at the end of the game as the Jazz, led by Lauri Markkanen and company almost pulled out a last second win.
Tonight, they face another team that’s learning how to compete in the league, but with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander back in the lineup, it will be a tough road for the Silver and Black. The two teams have already played once this season, a 119-111 Thunder win in OKC, led by Lugenz Dort and Jalen Williams. With Shai back in the lineup, the biggest limitation for the the Thunder offense will be the rule that there’s only one basketball in play at a time. Devin Vassell will probably be tasked with the task of guarding SGA, which will be interesting to watch. Will Branham be able to repeat his breakout performance of last night? Who will Pop rest on the second night of a back-to-back? Let’s watch and find out.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will add Popovich’s name to his jersey as a token of respect, and will be known as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander-Popovich (or ShaiGAP) for the rest of the season.
One final word:
Go Spurs GOOOOOO!!
San Antonio Spurs vs Oklahoma City Thunder
December 27, 2022 | 7:00 PM CT
Streaming: NBA League Pass
TV: CW 35 (Good luck, people!)
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