With one month of the season completed, most things are status quo around the NBA. The Heat, and Thunder are sitting comfortably in the top spots in their divisions and already looking forward to the postseason. However, a few surprises have emerged. The state of New York is buzzing, with both the Knicks (8-2) and the Brooklyn Nets (6-4) looking like the two foremost contenders to challenge the Heat in the East.
Of course, there is one other challenger looming out there. Yep, same ole’ same ole’… the San Antonio Spurs. Let’s focus on them in today’s free pick and build on our 12-7-2 ATS (that’s 63%) record so far this season.
San Antonio Spurs at Indiana Pacers +4 (Total: 190.5)
The entire league should be well rested after taking Thanksgiving off. I’m surprised the league would be willing to forego the TV revenue for a holiday audience, but perhaps they decided the NFL juggernaut was too much (or that they’d just save the flourish for Christmas).
Either way, the extra rest should be good for most teams, but perhaps none more than the San Antonio Spurs who can get rest the good ole’ fashioned way rather than the “Coach Pop throws a random regular season game” method that has grown so “popular” the last two seasons. That extra rest could spell especially bad news for the Indiana Pacers, who despite their recent three game winning streak, have had a season comprised largely of bad news in 2012.
Danny Granger is still months away from returning, and though Roy Hibbert recently notched his first career trouble-double, he has still looked nothing like an All Star so far this season. He is averaging just 9.5 points and 8.5 rebounds. His 3.17 blocks is formidable, but overall, this season has been an enormous bust for Hibbert. If they can get him going, and coax some more consistent play out of Paul George (who had 37 points in their last game, immediately following a game he went 2-9 from the floor and scored just FIVE points), they might be able to weather the Danny Granger absence. However, those are a lot of “ifs”
The Spurs have very little “ifs” – they simply continue to do what they have done throughout the entire Duncan/Popovich era; win. The Spurs are averaging close to 100 points per game, while the Pacers are struggling to average just over 90. They are offensively challenged, and are going to struggle mightily against the stifling (and rested) Spurs defense.
The Spurs are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games. Tonight, I think they make it five.
Free Pick: San Antonio Spurs -4