After a summer of shake-ups, the San Antonio Spurs finally tipped off their preseason on Sunday. From the opening minutes, the Houston Rockets (1-0) quickly took off with the lead, never allowing San Antonio to get close. On Thursday, the Spurs (0-1) look to bounce back against an Orlando Magic (0-1) team that is coming off of a loss of their own. Both teams are projected to be among the worst records this season, setting up for an interesting contest in the Alamo City.
How to Watch the Spurs vs Magic Preseason Game
- When: Thursday, October 6, 2022
- Start Time: 8 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. CST
- Location: AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas
- How to Watch: San Antonio Spurs Official App (free)
San Antonio Spurs Preview
The Spurs knew entering this season that a lot of things were going to be different. During the offseason, fans saw All-Star Dejounte Murray get traded to the Atlanta Hawks along with center Jock Landale. Shortly after that, the team released 2018 first-round pick Lonnie Walker IV who quickly signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. This all combined with the continued loss of assistant coach Becky Hammon who just coached the WNBA Las Vegas Aces to their first title. The summer was a season of change, sending the team into one of the most pivotal moments the franchise has faced in decades.
Sunday’s loss had its bright moments. In the absence of Murray and Walker, and with Keldon Johnson and Joshua Primo sidelined, third-year guard/forward Devin Vassell really stepped up. Playing in just the first half, he showcased a more offensively aggressive approach, ultimately leading the Spurs in scoring with 13 points.
The fans also got their first looks at the new class of rookies, all of whom played at least 14 minutes. Malaki Branham stood out with an efficient game, connecting on four of his five attempts, two of three from the perimeter, for 10 points. Offseason acquisition Isaiah Roby had himself quite the night as well, totaling 10 points as well. He stuffed the staff sheet with five rebounds, two steals, and a pair of assists. Be sure to keep an eye on the continued opportunities for the rookies, as well as the Spurs’ starting point guard position battle.
Orlando Magic Preview
Over the last 10 seasons, the Magic have reached the NBA postseason just twice. The 2018-2019 campaign is the franchise’s only one with a winning record during that stretch, posting a 42-40 mark. Despite possessing a high lottery pick almost annually, the losses haven’t amounted to wins. The team is hoping that changes thanks to its biggest win in years – the opportunity to grab Paolo Banchero with the top overall pick this past summer. Orlando was able to relatively hang with the playoff-bound Memphis Grizzlies in their preseason opener on Monday. While a strong fourth quarter provided a dose of positivity. the Magic ultimately fell in Memphis 109-97.
It was a rough showing on the hardwood for Banchero who really struggled to find his shot. He connected on just two of his nine shots from the floor while committing four turnovers in nearly 24 minutes of action. The Magic were led by Cole Anthony who got his third season started off well. He led his team with 17 points, connecting on 60 percent of his shots, and scoring 12 points from beyond the arc. Orlando’s bench looked strong, contributing 52 points, with a 15-point contribution from Moritz Wagner who was a certified bucket hitting 71 percent from the floor and 66 percent from deep.
All eyes will be on Banchero Thursday in San Antonio as Magic fans hope he can find his rhythm. Against an undersized Spurs unit, the Duke product should find success in the paint early, allowing him to build confidence. With a lot of length from Banchero, Wendall Carter Jr., Mo Wagner, and former Texas Longhorn Mo Bamba, the Magic could build a lead down low early, allowing them to work on their shooting with a comfortable lead.
Spurs vs Magic Odds
Despite playing at home, the Spurs are a +130 underdog against the Magic (-150). The sportsbooks are projecting a close game as evidenced by the three-point spread. San Antonio has won the last five match-ups between the two squads, dating back to 2020, and they haven’t been particularly close. Given the Spurs’ talent dump over the summer, combined with their current injuries, San Antonio is in a tough spot. Orlando just has more talent available and should cover the spread and end the losing streak.
Spurs vs Magic Pre-Game Injury Report
- Josh Primo (SG) – Day-to-Day
- Keldon Johnson (SF) – Day-to-Day
- Gary Harris (SG) – Day-to-Day
- Jonathan Isaac (PF) – Day-to-Day
- Markelle Fultz (PG) – Day-to-Day
- Admiral Schofield (SF) – Day-to-Day