Add Heat +7 Our Sharp NBA Pick Against Shorthanded Spurs

Jason Lake

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 12:10 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 12:10 PM GMT

After enjoying good health during the first half of the season, the San Antonio Spurs might be too hobbled to go into our NBA picks Tuesday against the Miami Heat.

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NBA Pick: Heat +7
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Feb. 8: 20-23-1 ATS, 5-1-1 Total

 

Something is not quite right with the San Antonio Spurs. Sure, they've only lost two games since the holidays, and the Spurs conveniently sat out Tim Duncan in both of those games, on the road, against the Golden State Warriors (–4.5) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (+1.5). But how many games will Duncan end up missing? And can we get a copy of that schedule sent to the home office?

It'd definitely help us with Tuesday's NBA picks. The Spurs have a date Tuesday night (8:00 p.m. ET, TNT) with the Miami Heat, and as we go to press, San Antonio is a 7-point road chalk on the NBA odds board with a total of 195. Wait, this just in: Duncan will be sitting this one out, too. He's missed seven straight games now with a sore right knee, and it looks like he won't be coming back until after the All-Star break.

 

Testicular Fortitude
The Spurs (43-8 SU, 33-18 ATS) were going to have to get used to playing without Duncan at some point. But now's not the ideal time. Even at age 39, Duncan (17.3 PER, +5.1 BPM) remains one of the league's very best defenders. San Antonio has gone 5-2 SU and 3-4 ATS in the big man's absence. They almost honked one against the Los Angeles Lakers (+16.5 away) on Saturday before prevailing 106-102.It isn't just Duncan, either. Guard Manu Ginobili (19.2 PER, +4.6 BPM), who has played at close to an All-Star level coming off the bench, is out until mid-March after taking a knee to the family jewels on Wednesday. It was bad enough that Ginobili had to have surgery. And just for good measure, PF Matt Bonner (18.0 PER, +4.1 BPM in limited minutes) won't be available Tuesday because of an injured left calf.

 

I Had Trips
Pinning down the Heat (29-23 SU, 26-25-1 ATS) hasn't been very easy lately, also thanks in large part to injuries. We followed Miami in Wednesday's game against the Dallas Mavericks (–2.5 at home), and got bonus fries when center Hassan Whiteside (23.8 PER, +1.9 BPM) was able to play 17 minutes off the bench, putting up 10 points, nine boards and five blocks in a 93-90 win.

Whiteside followed that up with a triple-double (10 points, rebounds and blocks), again off the bench, in Friday's 98-95 upset of the Charlotte Hornets (–4 at home). Miami couldn't quite keep up with the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, but this new configuration with Amar'e Stoudemire (18.1 PER, –0.4 BPM) playing nominal minutes as the starting power forward appears to suit the Heat just fine. We'll buy that for a dollar against the shorthanded Spurs.

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