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Charlotte Bobcats vs San Antonio Spurs game preview

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Gametime: 7 p.m. EST

The Spurs come to Charlotte possibly as a shell of what they normally are thanks to injuries and illnesses that have decimated the team. Kawhi Leonard has a broken finger and is out about a month. Manu Ginobili has a strained hamstring and is also out for about a month. Tony Parker is doubtful for today's game with tightness in his lower back and missed Thursday's game against the Nets. Boris Diaw is questionable after suffering food poisoning a few days ago.

And still, you never count out the Spurs, no matter how many players they're missing.

Gregg Popovich keeps a disciplined, tightly run ship from his top players to the ones at the end of the bench. They have plenty of depth and get the most out of their players with a good offensive strategy that capitalizes on terrific offensive spacing and movement and good shooting.

But bench depth can only take you so far if you're missing your top players, as we saw on Thursday, especially if they're playing a top defensive squad like the Bobcats.

However, the Spurs could get some of their best players back. Tim Duncan should be playing unless Pop wants to give him even more rest. If Parker comes back, he could really push Charlotte's defense to its limit as the Bobcats have to try to cut off one of the quickest and most savvy guards at penetrating to the basket while maintaining defensive spacing to stay aware of possible kickout shots.

A win at home against one of the top teams in the league, regardless of how banged up they are, would give the Bobcats another big victory as they try to build their reputation and stake their claim for a playoff spot.