Washington at San Antonio
Time: 8:30 PM CT (ESPN)
Spread: SAS -6
Odds c/o 5dimes
SAN ANTONIO news and notes:
San Antonio has won four straight after struggling for a stretch. It has fared 5-5 over its past 10 and currently is seeded No. 6 in the West.
The Spurs have been without star player Kawhi Leonard for most of the season, and LaMarcus Aldridge has fallen off wherein he was carrying the team for a while in Leonard’s absence. Aldridge shot just 5 of 16 from the field in the most recent 104-94 loss to the
Oklahoma City Thunder and the Spurs allowed the Thunder to have a plus-7 advantage on the boards while efficiently canning 10 of 28 threes against San Antonio in the game.
The Spurs trademark defense has been flat, and the scoring prowess of an aging Aldridge does not seem to be enough to carry this team through the playoffs if it should even arrive at the 2018 postseason.
The thought of a Gregg Popovich team being lottery-bound barely sounds right, but the Spurs have been aging for some time, and its most youthful superstar, Kawhi Leonard, may never play again in Silver and Black.
While there is little doubt this organization will build its way back to the top, we may
be on the verge of seeing a changing of the guard, given that Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have been reduced to role players, Tim Duncan is retired, and the one the torch was passed to, does not seem interested in carrying it. No one is really certain what is going on with Leonard.
WASHINGTON WIZARDS NEWS & NOTES
The Wizards have won two straight and are currently 40-30, but there is not much intrigue or mystery behind this team. It is still a team highly dependent on its backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, and a team still bereft of depth on the bench, for the most part.
Wall and Beal really have done all that could be asked of a backcourt. Beal leads the team in scoring at 23.6 points per game and Wall is good for nearly 20 a night, in addition to his 9.2 assists, but Otto Porter is still falling short of expectations and sophomore Kelly Oubre Jr. is not radically improved from his rookie season a year ago.
The Wizards ultimately need to add another superstar to take any sort of monumental jump toward contention, and it may be that the team is able to make a play at DeMarcus Cousins to reunite him with his former Kentucky teammate Wall.
Outside of that, there is no reason to expect this team to do much more than be a “pretender” with the glaring holes in its roster, and the overwhelming mediocrity at 3 of the 5 positions on the court.
Former Orlando Magic player Marcin Gortat is a good center, and one of the best in the pick and roll, but Markieff Morris is an erratic head case and the Wiz’ bench is overall just poor. Another former Magic player, Jason Smith, has returned to earth some two years after his breakout season in Orlando, which now can be totally labeled a fluke, as he led the league in mid-range shooting that year.?The Wizards are still the Wizards, to be terse and dismissive of the team, once again.