The San Antonio Spurs host the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night and both teams are looking for an important win in the standings. The 76ers are pushing for an Eastern Conference playoff spot and while they hold one at the moment, things are tight and they need to maintain their good recent run. The Spurs are struggling without two of their best players right now, but hold onto third place, and will be looking to cement that over the coming weeks.
Without Kawhi Leonard and Rudy Gay they are struggling, and are just 5-5 from their last ten games. The positive is that they have won their last two, with their latest victory being a comfortable 23 point victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The 76ers will bring a much tougher test though, and with both teams desperately looking for the win, expect to see the Spurs pushed to the limit.
The 76ers will fancy their chances at landing a playoff spot, although they will need to keep up their good recent form to make sure. They have gone 8-2 in their last ten games, which has been a great run for them. That has also coincided with a drop in form for some of the clubs around them, with the Pistons going 2-8, the Knicks going 3-7 and the Bucks going 4-6. A good home win against the Bulls on Wednesday night continued their good spell and now as the trade deadline approaches, they must continue to pick up wins. They have taken advantage of the poor form of others, and have a little breathing room, but now it is time for them to kick on, continue playing well and pull further clear to give themselves a definite playoff spot.
One thing that will make the Spurs confident going into this game is their home record. They have played 23 home games so far and won 20 of them, their barn is a tough place for visiting teams to play and if they are to finish in second or third this season then they need to keep that going.
In what should be a very good game, with both teams really needing the win, I am going to side with the San Antonio Spurs to win a close game and keep their fantastic home record. The 76ers will push them hard, but ultimately I have the Spurs coming out on top by three or four points on Saturday night.