The Spurs travel to Brooklyn on Sunday February 10th. The oddsmakers have not set a line on this game yet as the game is scheduled to tip-off at 8:00 pm est and will be on ESPN for your viewing pleasure.
The Brooklyn Nets will have their work cut out for them as they play the best team in the league, the San Antonio Spurs. With a record of 39-12 (.765), the Spurs have a half game lead on Oklahoma City for first in the west, and are also the best road team in the NBA (17-10). Brooklyn has been good at home, posting a record of 18-9 and averaging 97.1 PPG while holding their opponents to 94.9 PPG. San Antonio, despite their winning ways on the road, is actually giving up an even 100 PPG when playing away, though they average 103.4 PPG themselves.
San Antonio Preview
The Spurs are coming off a 119-109 loss on Friday in Detroit, a game in which they played without stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Prior to that, they had won 11 in a row and hadn’t lost since January 11 against Memphis. On Friday’s game the Spurs got excellent offensive production from most of their players, with Tony Parker shining (10-16, 31 points, 8 assists). However, they allowed the Pistons (20th in PPG) to score 119, with 3 players scoring over 20 points. Brooklyn’s offense ranks 22nd in PPG, and San Antonio will be hoping the Nets can’t capitalize on their porous road defense.
With Parker leading the Spurs in scoring (20.6 PPG) while shooting well (53% from the field), Duncan and Ginobili’s questionable statuses for this game may not hurt them too much. With good secondary players like Tiago Splitter (10.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG) leading one of the more balanced attacks in the NBA, San Antonio has every right to be confident heading into this game.
The Nets, 5-5 in the last 10, are aiming to rebound from a dreadful 89-74 loss against the 14-35 Washington Wizards. The Nets shot just 36%, with Deron Williams continuing to struggle shooting the ball well, going just 7-20 from the field. The usually solid Brook Lopez (leading the Nets in PPG at 18.8 and shooting 52% from the floor) shot just 3-11, and Andray Blatche went 2-9 coming off the bench. The Nets have alternated wins and losses over their last 6, and are 5-5 in their last 10. Fifth in the east and second in the Atlantic, Brooklyn will be looking for a bounce back from their stars Williams, Lopez, and Joe Johnson.
Brooklyn wins many of their games defensively, 5th in the league in opponents’ PPG (94.3). If Duncan and Ginobili both miss another game for San Antonio, the Nets will look to pressure Tony Parker and force him to give the ball up. While the Spurs balanced attack is dangerous, the Nets would rather force someone like Tiago Splitter to beat them.
The Spurs, despite possibly playing without two of their best players, have to feel comfortable heading into this game. They matchup favorably with the Nets, who may have a hard time shutting down all of San Antonio’s offensive options. The Spurs are 28-21-2 against the spread this season, while the Nets are 22-25-3. Even if Duncan and Ginobili don’t play, betting on the Spurs is probably the safest option. However, the Nets could be hungry for a win after that bad loss to Washington, and could come out firing to bury the Spurs early. Look for a closely contested match, and even if Duncan or Ginobili are back, don’t expect to have them see huge minutes.
Our ratings have the Nets -3 with taking into account the injuries and the uncertainty of who will be playing. The Spurs are an older team and in the midst of a tough stretch of games. I like The Nets to win by 7 in this one over the tired Spurs.
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