CEDAR PARK – After easily dispatching the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in Monday’s semifinals matchup, the Austin Spurs face an exponentially tougher task Thursday night.
The South Bay Lakers are only one of three teams to beat the Spurs multiple times this season.
The others? The Memphis Hustle, who missed the playoffs, and the Texas Legends, who were eliminated by Austin’s last opponent, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
But unlike the previous Spurs series against the Vipers, there are plenty of variables in each regular season matchup between Austin and South Bay that make it difficult to predict an outcome.
Both of South Bay’s wins over Austin came against a depleted Spurs squad. Austin’s victory over South Bay came in the last game of the regular season with both teams resting players.
And don’t bother looking to the previous playoff history between both teams for any indicators; both teams have only met twice in the playoffs, with the teams each splitting a series.
#6 South Bay Lakers @ #1 Austin Spurs
Thursday, April 5th – 7:00 p.m. CST | Cedar Park, TX
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park | TV: ESPNews
REGULAR SEASON SERIES
South Bay Lakers won the regular season series 2-1.
- 11/11/17 – Austin Spurs: 82 @ SOUTH BAY LAKERS: 110
- 11/18/17 – SOUTH BAY LAKERS: 113 @ Austin Spurs: 96
- 03/24/18 – South Bay Lakers: 128 @ AUSTIN SPURS: 140
The real question about tonight’s matchup is who will be available to play for both teams.
Last night the San Antonio Spurs faced the Los Angeles Lakers, with both teams having their prominent G Leaguers available for the NBA game.
Lakers two-way guard Alex Caruso started and played 19 minutes for Los Angeles last night. Meanwhile forward Ivica Zubac, who has regularly been assigned to the G League throughout the season played 29 minute last night logging eight points, six rebounds and six assists.
The Spurs could be shorthanded as well for the Western Conference Finals. San Antonio recalled Derrick White prior to last night’s game, but didn’t log any minutes. Spurs two-way forward Darrun Hilliard was also active for San Antonio, but was listed as ‘Did Not Play – Coaches Decision’.
No word on if both players will be sent back to Austin yet.
*denotes two-way player
**denotes player on assignment
- Alex Caruso* (SBL/LAL): 19.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 7.8 apg
- Thomas Bryant (SBL): 19.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg
- Gary Payton II* (SBL/LAL): 17.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 4.9 apg
- Darrun Hilliard* (SAS/ATX): 20.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.8 apg
- Jaron Blossomgame (ATX): 16.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg
- Olivier Hanlan (ATX): 14.7 ppg, 2.8 apg