The San Antonio Spurs are coming off one of their best performances of the season. They got strong performances from their young core in a 113-112 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Spurs are 2-1 on their five game home stand, and have an opportunity to extend their winning streak to three games (the longest of the season) as the Washington Wizards come into town.
In their last contest with the Wizards, the Spurs rode a late game comeback to a 131-127 win in the nation’s Capitol. It was a sloppy game with a lot of offense. The Spurs got great performances from Victor Wembanyama and Jeremy Sochan down the stretch. Wemby and Sochan will look to build upon their strong play in this matchup at the Frost Bank Center.
San Antonio Spurs (10-36) vs. Washington Wizards (8-37)
January 29, 2024 | 7:00 PM CT
Watch: BSSW | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)
Spurs Injuries: Charles Bassey – Out (left knee,) Sidy Cissoko – Out (G League,) David Duke Jr. – Out (G League,) Mamadi Diakite – Out (G League,) Dominick Barlow – Questionable (G League,) Zach Collins – Questionable (right ankle)
Wizards Injuries: Johnny Davis – Out (G League,) Isaiah Livers – Out (right hip)
What to watch for
Tre vs. Tyus Jones
Tre Jones won his first NBA matchup with his big brother, Tyus, in the Spurs and Wizards last matchup. The younger Jones brother was two rebounds shy of a triple-double, putting up 11 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds. Tre has been on quite the hot streak since joining the starting lineup. He’s averaging 13.2 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 59.8% from the field and 41.4% from three as a starter.
Jones has been crucial to the team’s success lately. He’ll have another chance to out-duel his brother and help the Silver and Black get a win on Monday.
Containing the front court
The Wizards have been a poor defensive team this season (27th in defensive rating.) They stay in games by playing up-tempo and getting the ball inside. Their front court has been playing especially well lately. Kyle Kuzma is a solid scoring wing, coming off a 30-point performance against the Pistons. Daniel Gafford is a bully inside and Marvin Bagley III has been excellent since getting traded to Washington.
The Spurs have one of the best front court defenders in the NBA in Wembanyama. However, they’ve been known to give up points in the paint or too many offensive rebounds to bigger, more physical teams. San Antonio will need to hold down the paint in a tough interior matchup with Washington.
Surviving without Wembanyama
It’s no secret that the Spurs bench has struggled this season. San Antonio’s bench has a +/- of -4.1, third worst in the NBA. Who is right above them? The Washington Wizards. Without Wembanyama on the floor, the Spurs have struggled to find an offensive identity, and get worse defensively. They’ll need Keldon Johnson and Zach Collins to take on a bigger offensive load, and for guys like Blake Wesley to continue making progress defensively.