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Tonight’s game marks a meeting of the 14th place teams in the eastern and western conferences, and the actual outcome probably only matters to hardcore fans. But you’re reading this, so you must be one, so let’s talk about it a little bit. The Pistons’ problems are caused by the loss of their best player (Cade Cunningham) for the season to injury which has forced them to rely on a mixture of veterans like Bojan Bogdanovic and Cory Joseph, and young players like Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren. The Spurs have been an interesting team this year, and one of their most interesting players has to be Jeremy Sochan who showed both sides of being a talented rookie in the league, by playing excellent basketball, and also by making a critical mistake late in the game that was consequential in the eventual loss.
That’s part of the package when you have a team that’s led by inexperienced players. They make mistakes, and they learn from mistakes. It can be painful at times to watch, but it’s never boring.
Devin Vassell had surgery on his balky knee, so the Spurs will be leaning on young players even more heavily for most of the rest of this season, so expect so extended minutes from Malaki Branham tonight, and also Romeo Langford. Keldon Johnson will now be leading the team on both ends, and expect to see him try to involve Jakob Poeltl and Zach Collins more on the offense to free up his drives to the basket. Reclamation project Stanley Johnson has been playing well so far, and might have found his way into the regular rotation for the rest of the season, or at least until Vassell returns, which might not happen this season. Gorgui Dieng is gone, so Charles Bassey might be coming back to San Antonio to get more extended action and maybe a regular NBA contract instead of his current 2-way.
Tonight is the first game of a back-to-back, and tomorrow’s opponent will be the first place Boston Celtics, so tonight is probably the best chance for the Spurs to pick up a win this weekend. Let’s watch and see if the Spurs can take care of business, basketball business.
Jeremy Sochan will not commit a 5 second violation on an inbounds pass for the rest of his career.
One final word:
Go Spurs GOOOOOO!!
San Antonio Spurs vs Detroit Pistons
January 6, 2023 | 7:00 PM CT
Streaming: NBA League Pass
TV: BSSW SA
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