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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Detroit Pistons

The Spurs and Pistons duke it out tonight to see which team comes away with win #15 this season

NBA: Detroit Pistons at San Antonio Spurs Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs and Pistons are in similar places at the moment as franchises, both of them clearly in the midst of rebuilds. However, whereas this is relatively new territory for the Spurs and their fan base after an unprecedented run, it seems like Detroit has been rebuilding since their last championship window closed in the mid-2000s. After watching the team try to build around Andre Drummond and making silly moves like a huge swing-and-miss in trading/signing Blake Griffin, Detroit fans are hoping that the recent top 5 draft choices of Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey has set them up with their backcourt of the future, but it’s a pairing that’s off to a less than ideal start. Ivey was the #5 overall pick out of Purdue in last summer’s draft and has shown flashes this year, but he hasn’t been able to pair up with Cunningham, who showed his own flashes at the end of last year. Cunningham, though, hasn’t played since November 9th and won’t play again until next season after having surgery on his shin back in December.

Meanwhile. San Antonio was active all the way up to yesterday’s trade deadline. They’ve moved off vets Josh Richardson and Jakob Poeltl, adding players and picks to their war chest in return and with their 14-41 record, a top 5 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft is seemingly all but secured for them at this point. They come into this game on a 10-game losing streak and in flux after the deadline.

San Antonio Spurs (14-41) vs Detroit Pistons (14-42)

February 10, 2023 | 6:00 PM CT

Watch: BSSW | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)

Spurs Injuries: Devin Vassell (knee - OUT), Jeremy Sochan (back - questionable), Tre Jones (foot - questionable), Romeo Langford (thigh-questionable), Charles Bassey (day to day)

Pistons Injuries: Cade Cunningham (leg - OUT), Marvin Bagley (hand - OUT)

What to watch for

  • With Jakob Poeltl now out of San Antonio, Zach Collins is Center 1 on the roster. Collins’ has had a good year, but is injury prone and as such, it’s tough to see him getting the consistent starting nod for the rest of the season. With a call-up to the G League Rising All Stars game, perhaps the slightly under-sized Charles Bassey sees a bump in his playing time?
  • Jeremy Sochan and Tre Jones may be poised to miss another game. Neither has suited up since leaving the February 1st game against the Kings with injuries. Not having Sochan for an extended period has been most unfortunate, as he was playing some of his best basketball of his rookie season while also being the colorful personality that he is.
  • Jaden Ivey is averaging 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in 52 games in his rookie season. He scored a career-high 30 points against the Utah Jazz in December.
  • The Pistons were able to acquire James Wiseman from the Golden State Warriors before yesterday’s deadline, further adding to what they hope will be a successful future young core. Wiseman, the 2020 #2 overall draft pick, has much to prove at the NBA level, but Detroit must think that his raw talent and developmental timeline lines up better with their franchise’s timeline than it did with Golden State, who have struggled with bringing their youth along during their title defense this season.
  • The Spurs, Pistons, and Rockets are the only 3 teams that have yet to reach 15 wins this season. The winner of tonight’s game will cross one of these teams from this list, as they both come into tonight with 14 wins. Seasons largely worth forgetting, no doubt!

For the Piston fan’s perspective, please visit Detroit Bad Boys.

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