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Spurs vs. Nuggets preview: Injured Spurs face injured Nuggets

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Two of the top three teams in the NBA's Western Conference face off, each without two of their best players. Tonight will be a test of will and motivation.

Tony Parker and Ty Lawson...both men will likely not play tonight
Tony Parker and Ty Lawson...both men will likely not play tonight
Doug Pensinger
2012/2013 NBA Regular Season: Game 78
vs
57-20 (23-15 on the road)
2-1 SAN
53-24 (35-3 at home)
April 6th, 2013 - 8:30 PM (MT)
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
Altitude / ESPN / 950 AM / 104.3 FM The Fan
Probable Starters
Nando De Colo PG Andre Miller
Danny Green SG Andre Iguodala
Kawhi Leonard SF Wilson Chandler
Tim Duncan PF Kenneth Faried
Tiago Splitter C Kosta Koufos
Notes
Pounding the Rock Blogs Denver Stiffs
Tony Parker (shin/neck) game time decision, Manu Ginobili (out), Boris Diaw (out) Injuries Danilo Gallinari (torn ACL, out), Ty Lawson (out, Foot ouchy) unlikely
San Antonio is fighting for first seed in the Western Conference Stat Nuggets look to stay ahead of Memphis by a game

It's time to once again face the San Antonio Spurs. This time, both teams are seriously depleted with injuries ... although based on a scan of the injury report, the Nuggets are a bit less injured than the Spurs.

The Spurs have the fortune of being coached by Gregg Popovich so you can expect anything and everything. Stephen Jackson stayed in San Antonio, while Boris Diaw, and Manu Ginobili are out for this game. However, Tony Parker is on the trip and MAY play in this game. As of the writing of this preview we do no know if he will. That could change the equation the Nuggets play for tonight.

Meanwhile, the Spurs have the best record in the Western Conference and, after coasting through the season with relative ease, have faced some injury adversity of late. However, Tim Duncan is having one of his best seasons in recent memory. He's been mostly healthy and is averaging


Pts Reb Ast
2012 - Tim Duncan 17.7 10.0 2.7


Not bad for someone who is about to turn 37 years old. These are Duncan's best numbers since the 2009-10 season. It's remarkable that a big man of Duncan's age can put up those kinds of stats. Even his center cohort from the late 90's early 00's David Robinson didn't put up those types of stats at that age.

As ever, though, the Spurs tend to go as far as Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich take them. With Parker's playing status up in the air for this evening, it may be up to the crafty Pop to come up with a way for the Spurs to break the Nuggets NBA-best home court dominance. Or at least attempt to.

Nuggets of Wisdom

It's hard to read too much in to the Nuggets last game against the Houston Rockets. The Rockets were coming off a game the previous night in Portland and were missing two of their best scorers (Chandler Parsons, Carlos Delfino). Even though the Spurs are quite injured at the moment, they will provide a far more accurate appraisal of where the Nuggets are without Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson. The Rockets, oddly, decided they could out "track meet" the Nuggets and it just didn't work. The Spurs won't do that.

The starting lineup with Wilson Chandler seemed to work. My only concern is the last two games he seems to be getting into pretty quick first half foul trouble. This is due, it seems, to Wilson's aggressive defensive style. Hopefully he can adjust a bit. Andre Iguodala still needs to score, and JaVale McGee needs a repeat performance of the last game he played against the Spurs where he didn't go for pump fakes, stayed down, and played solid defense. That was the last good game McGee has played.

As ever GO NUGGETS!