After an extremely brutal loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, the San Antonio Spurs will look to get on the right track against another young baseball club who, like them, have shown promise throughout the first half of their timeline, but they have an opposite tendency. directions to the All-Star break.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are much better than anyone might have expected this season. The Las Vegas Oddsmakers have seen Cleveland win just 26 games this year, and they are already just two games away from that mark.
As for Spurs, they have been impressive as an attacking unit but are significantly underperforming defensively. With COVID-19 also trending its course on the roster in recent weeks, it looks like something is still waiting to take them down a few notches as they start to gain traction. With the gradual return of the players – Doug McDermott has been deemed available and Derrick White upgraded to questionable – Spurs must do everything in their power to build some momentum and enjoy the remainder of their seven home games.
San Antonio Spurs (15-26) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (24-18)
January 14, 2022 | 7:30 p.m. HC
Watch: Bally Sports SW | Listen to: WOAI (1200 AM)
Spur injuries: Zach Collins (Exit – Ankle), Tre Jones (Exit – COVID-19 Protocols), Derrick White (Questionable – COVID-19 Protocols), Drew Eubanks (Questionable – Disease)
Injuries to riders: Ricky Rubio (Released – ACL), Collin Sexton (Released – Knee), Isaac Okoro (Released – Elbow), Rajon Rondo (Questionable – Hamstrings)
To monitor :
- How will the Spurs fare against one of the best frontcourt in the NBA? The Cavaliers are a fun throwback to the golden age of hoops, except with a nice modern twist. Cleveland is starting two traditional big men, and their first zone duo of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley have given many teams adjustments throughout this season. They’ve fitted in perfectly in their first year together, and that’s one of the main reasons the Cavs have been one of the NBA’s surprise success stories. From Mobley displaying a dynamic three-level scoring ability to Allen’s exceptional rim run and shot blocking, Spurs will have their hands full on both sides of the pitch. To make matters more delicate, San Antonio has questionable depth behind Jakob Poeltl, with Drew Eubanks possibly absent (and having lost his rotational spot anyway) and Jock Landale still seeking his role in the NBA. In addition, Spurs are giving up an offensive rebound percentage of 27.3%, which is a problem that could grow in the face of Wine and Gold’s dynamic frontcourt. It will be worth keeping a close eye on how Spurs fare against one of the best big-man tandems in the league.
- The match between Darius Garland and Dejounte Murray: One of the biggest surprises this season has been third-year playmaker Darius Garland. After two average seasons at Cleveland, the former fifth overall pick has put together a strong campaign that borders on All-Star consideration. His growth has been notable, and the same could be said of San Antonio resident upstairs general Dejounte Murray. The former Washington student has always been known for his defensive prowess, but he has significantly expanded his attacking repertoire this season, improving as a passer and finisher while gradually becoming one of the best two-way guards in the world. ‘association. Both players are ascending talents in their respective positions, and their head-to-head clash on Friday night will be something to watch out for.
- Will the Spurs start to improve defensively? As the 2021-22 season approached, many believed Spurs would be one of the best defensive teams in basketball. San Antonio’s success seemed to depend on how well they could lock in their opposition while still being just good enough on offense. But like everything in recent years, expectations are changing quite abruptly. Spurs exceeded expectations offensively but found themselves in a rut on the other side of the ball. San Antonio ranks 20th in defensive standings and 21st in points awarded per 100 possessions. Spurs are also dropping an eFG% of 53.4%, which places them 23rd in the league in this category. Their defensive struggles came as a shock to many, and having allowed 111 or more points in five of their last six games, San Antonio needs to start turning the page. Hopefully a solid outing against a tough opponent can be the genesis of better days to come at Alamo City.
From the point of view of Cavaliers fans, visit Fear the sword.
The PtR Gamethread will be available tonight for those who wish to chat through the game. You can also follow the action through PtR’s Twitter feed.