Preseason Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Caja Laboral

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (2-2) vs. CAJA LABORAL (0-1)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS DeJuan Blair 13.8 DeJuan Blair 8.0 Manu Ginobili 4.0
CAJA Mirza Teletovic 24.0 Mirza Teletovic 9.0 Marcelinho Huertas 11.0

The San Antonio Spurs will begin a preseason game home stand against the reigning Spanish League champions Caja Laboral. If that team name sounds familiar it’s because it is Tiago Splitter’s former team before joining the Spurs this offseason.

Laboral dropped their first preseason game 110-105 against the Memphis Grizzlies. They were led by Mirza Teletovic with 24 points and Fernando San Emeterio who added 15 points, going 5-6 from the field, including 3-3 from behind the arc.

This game will also feature Marcelinho Huertas who displayed an all-around game at the 2010 FIBA World Championship averaging 11.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists including his 32 point outburst against Argentina. Also, former Spurs’ player Marcus Haislip, who now plays for Caja Laboral, will be making his return to San Antonio.

The Spurs are coming off a 106-80 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Pittsburgh. A game where four of San Antonio’s starters (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Richard Jefferson) didn’t suit up.

DeJuan Blair tried to please his hometown fans as he scored 8 points, grabbed 11 boards and dished out 5 assist against the Cavaliers but the Spurs had an atrocious shooting night.

They only shot 37% from the field, including 3-11 from Blair. It will be interesting to see if coach Gregg Popovich will give Splitter (who is recovering from an injury) a chance to play against his former team. Although knowing Popovich, Splitter might only be a spectator on the sidelines for this game.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Spurs:

Offense — Inside scoring will be key for the Spurs, against the Grizzlies, Caja Laboral gave up 62 inside points while scoring just 34 in the paint.

Defense — The Spurs will have to guard Caja Laboral’s outside shooters. The Spanish team connected 42.1% of their 3-point attempts against the Grizzlies.

Caja Laboral:

Offense — The visiting team will have to stick on what they do best and that is hitting the outside shots. They are also a good fast-breaking team, they had a 28-13 advantage on fast break points against the Grizzlies.

Defense — Caja Laboral surprised the Memphis Grizzlies with their full court trapping defense during the first half, as they held an 11 point lead in the second quarter and forced the Grizzlies to commit 24 turnovers. But they also have to limit the Spurs’ inside points to have a chance in this game. 

INJURIES

Spurs — Tiago Splitter – strained right plantaris muscle (out). Matt Bonner – sprained left thumb (probable)

Caja Laboral — None

PREDICTION:

After missing the game against Cleveland, Duncan, Ginobili, Parker and Jefferson might see some action against Caja Laboral. Still, expect more minutes for the camp hopefuls as the team continues to determine which players to keep. The reigning Spanish League champs will play hard in this game like they did against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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