One of the more interesting matchups of the young NBA season will take place at the Barclays Center (where all of a sudden, seemingly ALL sporting events take place…) when the New York Knicks tangle with their new neighbors, the Brooklyn Nets. Both teams have played well this season and have appeared to be the two most realistic threats to the Heat in the East.
The Nets are favored by 1.5, and I lean that way, but not enough certainty to make that my official pick today. The game is worth a watch no matter what, and the crowd will be as electric as any regular season NBA crowd you will see all season.
My official pick focuses on a little good, and a LOT of bad…
San Antonio Spurs -5 at Washington Wizards (Total: 191)
The Spurs enter tonight at 11-3, but showing some signs of weakness despite their great record. Yesterday they needed two overtimes to beat the lousy Toronto Raptors. Will that extra effort and court time slow down their legs enough to give the hapless Wizards a chance to end their record futility?
San Antonio has owned Washington over the past five years, winning 13 straight against the Wizards. They haven’t lost to them since 2005, and despite some fatigue, it is really hard to see them losing tonight. Washington is seven wins away from the NBA record for most losses to begin a season. A big reason why is their struggling offense. They are scoring a league-low 89.8 points per game. Contrast that with the Spurs 100.9, and tonight seems like a mismatch.
The Spurs have a +4.4 ppg differential (surprisingly low for an 11-3 team) and the Wizards is a staggering -7.2. The difference between the two margins is 11.6. The line tonight is only 5. I know home court and tired legs factor in to the number, but it just seems too enticing to pass up.
I expect San Antonio to do what they do; win on the road. It seems fair to also expect the Wizards to do what they do; lose, and lose anywhere.
Tony Parker is averaging over 30 points and 7 assists during the Spurs six-game winning streak, and the timeless Tim Duncan has scored 26 and grabbed 11 boards over his last four games. I don’t expect Duncan to log as many minutes or put up those kind of numbers tonight, but it is perfectly logical to expect Tony Parker to do at LEAST that much damage against the John Wall-less Wizards tonight.
Sorry Wiz fans (if there are any….), the losing continues tonight. You aren’t snapping a record streak for futility against the mighty Spurs.
Free Pick: San Antonio Spurs -5