Spurs starting five might look different tonight vs. former Spur DeRozan and Chicago Bulls

Three players on the San Antonio Spurs starting five are “questionable” or “probable” ahead of game vs. Bulls

San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson, left, and Houston Rockets forward Jae'Sean Tate (8) battle for the ball during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The 4-22 San Antonio Spurs have had a rough start to the 2023-2024 season and the wear and tear of the season is taking its toll as injuries are starting to pile up.

For the second game in a row, Victor Wembanyama could be sitting out due to right ankle soreness. Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson could also sit out due to lower back tightness for Johnson and an illness for Vassell. On Thursday morning, the Spurs released an injury report:

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During Tuesday night’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Keldon Johnson scored a team-high 28 points and 10 rebounds. However, his performance could have led to overuse of his lower back which could limit or completely shut him down for the Spurs game against the Bulls. After Thursday morning’s shootaround, Tre Jones shared his thoughts on Keldon Johnson taking a lot of physical contact from opposing players in the last few games.

“You know that’s him every single night, he’s a bruiser, he’s going to continue to get in there and be physical try to impose his will there,” said Jones. “He might be beat up the next morning or even a couple days after but we know when game time comes he’ll be ready to get after it again.”

This Spurs game against the Bulls is the second of three meetings against the six-time NBA champion franchise. The first meeting was on Dec. 8, the Spurs led 33-24 after the first quarter and had a 63-52 lead at halftime thanks to Victor Wembanyama’s 21 points and 20 rebounds performance. He became the youngest player in NBA history to score 20 points and have 20 rebounds in one game. The second half was a different story, as the Bulls outscored the Spurs by 15 points in the third quarter and ended up pulling away in the fourth to win 121-112.

After Thursday night’s game against the Bulls, the next meeting between the two storied franchises will be on Jan. 13 at the Frost Bank Center, tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CST.

About the Author

Nick Mantas is a KSAT 12 Sports Editor. He has previously worked in Lansing, San Fransisco and Abilene. Nick earned a Master's Degree in Sports Media from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Arizona, where he also interned as a strength and conditioning coach.

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