The Spurs have even more fluctuation than usual headed into their matchup with the Cavaliers. The season has taken its toll on their front court and Kawhi Leonard, Pau Gasol and Rudy Gay will all not suit up tonight. San Antonio will also be missing Manu Ginobili in their back court, which should open up minutes on the wing.
Gregg Popovic is known to both be stingy with the media and experiment with different lineups. As a result, he is one of the most difficult coaches in the league to predict minutes for. Tonight should be somewhat easier to call because of how few options Pop has to call on. Projecting minutes/starters for the Spurs tonight:
PG Dejounte Murray 28
SG Danny Green 28
SF Kyle Anderson 32
PF Davis Bertans 30
C Lamarcus Aldridge 36
6. Tony Parker 20
7. Patty Mills 20
8. Bryn Forbes 20
9. Joffrey Lauvergne 26
10. Matt Costello –
11. Derrick White –
12. Brandan Paul –
The two notable value plays are Davis Bertans and Joffrey Lauvergne at the power forward and center positions. One of them will draw the start and both will see near season-high run. Their minutes are safe unless Michigan State product Matt Costello enters the rotation for the first time or unless Pop entertains the idea of letting Kyle Anderson play for four for an extended period of time. I’m picking both as values tonight, with more Bertans because of his upside.
I’m going to play a lot of Lamarcus Aldridge tonight in both main and turbo. His usage will rise tonight without Kawhi Leonard or Pau Gasol and the Cavaliers don’t have a great defender for him. His rebounds should rise slightly because of how much center he will play tonight as well.
San Antonio will seek more scoring from players who wouldn’t typically see as many looks tonight. Dejounte Murray is drawing a start and Isaiah Thomas defensively and should be asked to create more than usual tonight. Danny Green, Kyle Anderson and Patty Mills will have a greener light than usual. And Bertans will be given the chance to showcase his talents in a position where he’s more than just a spot up shooter once again.
Everything considered, there’s going to be specific Spurs that I target tonight more than others. Lamarcus Aldridge and Davis Bertans will be a in a lot of my lineups. Dejounte Murray, Kyle Anderson and Joffrey Lauvergne will be played because of the chance they’ll have to exceed value in a good matchup. And while I won’t be targeting them as much, I wouldn’t fault anyone who is in on Danny Green or Tony Parker tonight. I’d like to see more non-scoring stats out of Bryn Forbes before I trust him. Good luck to all tonight.