The Celtics start a short three game road trip tonight in San Antonio.
The Spurs are third in the West at 17-8 (8 of their last 10) and this is being done without Kawhi Leonard in the lineup.
So who is in this latest version of “the players may change but the Spurs are the Spurs” ? Well most notably Pau Gasol has been added to the front court. Gasol is teaming up with LaMarcus Aldridge to form a poor old man version of the Duncan-Robinson style big men duo who both sort of play the 4 or the 5 and can switch and interchange with ease. And it’s working.
The Celtics and Spurs previously faced off back on Oct. 30th. The Celtics won big and held Aldridge and Gasol to 11 points each. The Celtics guards ran rampant with Irving, Brown and Rozier combining for 54 of the Celtics 108 points. But that was back when the Spurs were 4-3 and presumably still figuring out the Gasol-Aldridge partnership. Tonight’s game will be a different story.
Mask On – Mask Off
With Kyrie’s time in a mask coming to a close it’ll be Jaylen Brown taking over Masked Avenger duties at least for tonight. He’ll be playing in Rec Specs to protect his (hopefully no longer) swollen eye.
Will the Celtics guards again control the game? Tony Parker, missing from the teams first matchup, is back in limited minutes for the Spurs but he’s obviously not the Parker of old (now he’s just plain old).
The front court holds all the questions. Marcus Morris is listed as questionable. Mr. Nice Guy Daniel Theis had a good game back in October. The Celtics will need solid minutes from Theis and Baynes to once again keep Gasol-Aldridge in check.
Prediction – Celtics 96 Spurs 92