The hot San Antonio Spurs roll into Oklahoma for a clash against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. The Spurs are winners in five of their last six games, and 7-3 in their last ten outings. They have moved to 16-11 on the season thanks to their recent surge. In a sea of quality teams in the Western Conference, the Spurs are one of the forgotten about teams.
I’m not going to sit here and say that the media has to give the Spurs more credit like the Utah Jazz, though. No, the Spurs aren’t contenders, and they’re not going to be in for a deep postseason push in the spring. Selling assets at the trade deadline, which they could probably fetch a decent price for, is likely their best course of action.
Popovich is well aware that his team isn’t going to be competing for a championship this season. I’d be surprised if the Spurs buy at the deadline to try to become a major contender in the West. LaMarcus Aldridge has seemingly been on the trade block for what feels like forever now. Alridge hasn’t played since February 1, but is listed as active for the Spurs on Wednesday night.
He has some rust to shake off in this contest. Aldridge is averaging 14.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. His presence should help the Spurs out nicely going forward, though we’ll see if Pop receives a trade offer that will be tough to ignore. He’s not giving Aldridge away for free. The Spurs take on a reeling Thunder team on the road tonight.
The Thunder enter this contest with a record of 12-19 and 4-10 at home. They’re coming off a 108-94 loss against the Miami Heat on Monday. It was another tough game with nobody helping Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out offensively. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 27 points, while the next highest scorer, Darius Bazley, finished with 13 points in the losing cause.
If anything, Gilgeous-Alexander is showing that the LA Clippers should not have parted ways with him. He is only a 22-year-old and still has a lot of room to grow. Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 22.8 points and 6.5 assists per game, as he continues to build a resume as the most underrated player in the league. Head below for our free Spurs vs. Thunder pick on February 24, 2021.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Betting Odds:
Spurs vs. Thunder Prediction:
The fact that LaMarcus Aldridge is returning tonight is a big deal for the Spurs. They need bodies out there, because the Spurs are flirting dangerously in not being able to put a team on the court in OKC. It won’t take much more for the NBA having to postpone this contest. There are several members of the Spurs in Covid protocol at the moment, including DeMar DeRozan, who will be unavailable for personal reasons against the Thunder. There are five Spurs currently in Covid protocol, and will not be able to play tonight.
That list includes Rudy Gay, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Quinndary Weatherspoon, and Derrick White. Tre Jones and Luka Samanic were recalled from the Austin Spurs to give the team ten available players for this content. Eight are required to continue with a game. Popovich is going to have to get incredibly creative on Wednesday night against the Thunder. His rotation will look a whole lot different with the Spurs playing short handed basketball in this one.
Can the Thunder take advantage of the Spurs misfortunes in this one? The Thunder are scoring an average of 106.8 points per game for 27th in the NBA. Their defensive effort has trended ahead of the offense, with 112.5 points conceded per game for 19th. That isn’t much, but against a Spurs team that is dealing with plenty of problems with their starting lineup and bench, you have to think the Thunder should be able to contain them.
The Spurs’ offense has been mediocre this season, with 111.1 points scored per game. In their previous five outings, they’ve recorded 110.8 points a game. Those numbers have been with a much healthier team than we’re going to see tonight in OKC. Aldridge is returning, and the offense will likely run through him, but he could be rusty given the layoff since February 1. The Thunder, despite their deficiencies, should be able to clear the Spurs in a 115-109 final score or thereabout.