This year’s NBA Season officially kicks off today and your San Antonio Spurs open the season on Wednesday with a date against the Orlando Magic.
This off-season has been different for fans as we saw the departure of NBA vets DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Gorgui Dieng, and fan-favorite Patty Mills from the squad. However, we are finally witnessing the franchise go full-force towards a youth movement.
Although there may be growing pains watching this squad, you can expect a fast, athletic team who will presumably always be favored as the underdog. But that should only put a chip on the players to perform better.
Below I list the game previews for the week and throw out some predictions:
San Antonio Spurs vs Orlando Magic
Date: October 20, 2021, 7:30 P.M CT
Arena: AT&T Center
Broadcast: Bally Sports Southwest
The Spurs open up against the Orlando Magic and an intriguing storyline I’m looking forward to is seeing how Spurs coach Gregg Popovich handles the minutes.
I expect Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Keldon Johnson, Jakob Poeltl and possibly Doug McDermott to tackle the heavy minutes, but there will be questions on who Pop will trust the most off the bench.
There are endless possibilities on what rotations can be throw out. I believe those minutes will be divided mostly from Lonnie Walker IV, Devin Vassell, Thaddeus Young, and Drew Eubanks. My dark horse sleeper to steal minutes, Joshua Primo, aka Mr. Primo Picks who has been dazzling fans all preseason.
On the Magic side, they enter a full rebuild mode and roster one of the youngest squads in the league. In their preseason matchup with the Spurs, they lost a close 101-100 game with Terence Ross leading them with 20 points.
The Magic always seem to give the Spurs problems every season, so I wouldn’t expect anything less. Former Gonzaga star Jalen Suggs, matched up with White or Murray, will be the prime matchup to watch, as he is a favorite to win Rookie of the Year.
Prediction: I see the Spurs keeping it close in the beginning, but with a bit more experience on their end they end up pulling away. Expect a 1-0 start to the season and Spurs fans to get settled in for a fun ride.
San Antonio Spurs vs Denver Nuggets
Date: October 22, 2021, 8 p.m. CT
Arena: Ball Arena
Broadcast: CW 35
The Spurs face their first road test in their second game of the season. Denver will be coming off a game against the Phoenix Suns.
For some reason every time I think of the Nuggets, I can’t just help think about Derrick White’s poster dunk and Lonnie Walker’s almost-mesmerizing dunk a few years ago.
Fast forward now and this squad is a bit different and they will be faced with a tough test guarding All-Pro center Nikola Jokic.
The matchup to look for is Jakob vs Jokic and as part of the game plan, Pop will have to help limit Jokic’s all-around game with the Spurs other bigs.
Prediction: The Jokic-led Nuggets are going to score a lot and there may be fans that will probably complain about the defensive intensity of the team. But stopping an all-around talent like Jokic who affects the game in every way is easier said than done. I see the Spurs getting just enough to edge out Denver and possibly off 2-0 start.
San Antonio Spurs vs Milwaukee Bucks
Date: October 23, 2021, 7:30 p.m. CT
Arena: AT&T Center
Broadcast: KENS 5
This will be the Spurs’ third game in four nights and you have to expect some fatigue from the team when they come back from Denver. Aside from the back-to-back, they’ll need to prepare for the defending NBA champions.
I’m putting this as the Game of the Week in my book because it will be an early test to see how the squad matches up against the champs.
Although the Greek Freak should be a handful for anyone that will guard him, I expect Pop to throw a handful of bodies towards Giannis. It’s a tactic similar to several years ago when he threw multiple bodies at LeBron to get him fatigued.
*Disclaimer, I’m not saying Giannis is LeBron*
Prediction: Spurs and Bucks should be a great game, but I think the Bucks come out on top. 2-1 to start off the season? Sign me up.