The Los Angeles Clippers are higher in the standings than the San Antonio Spurs, who have slipped to seventh and are encountering all sorts of bad luck. Should you place your NBA pick on them covering the spread?
The Los Angeles Clippers Can Win Because…
They are healthier and fresher than the Spurs. San Antonio has just had a nightmare of a season, with all of its star players missing many games due to rest or injury. Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard are the two best Spurs, and they’ve been missing games partly because of injuries. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili have missed games more due to a need for rest. However, the nasty series of events that have enfolded the Spurs have remained hard to fathom. San Antonio has been playing patchwork lineups; playing competitively against the likes of 21-6 Memphis and 22-6 Portland… and barely coming up short in extended games that left this team exhausted. The Spurs played in and lost consecutive triple-overtime games at home to the Grizzlies and Trail Blazers. The Spurs’ outpouring of energy has been so substantial that on Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks, Duncan joined Parker, Ginobili, Danny Green, and Tiago Splitter on the bench due to rest or injury needs following the three-overtime loss to Portland on Friday. The Spurs – playing a ragtag third-string lineup with Aron Baynes, Kyle Anderson, Cory Joseph, and Marco Belinelli in the starting lineup and Jeff Ayres and Austin Daye coming off the bench, led Dallas at the start of the fourth quarter but could not hold on. The Spurs ran out of gas and ideas, losing 99-93. This team is taxed. This team is unlucky. With all the lineup changes from game to game and week to week, it’s hard to ask the Spurs to provide enough offensive continuity to get them over the top. San Antonio has lost four in a row and six of its last 10. These are strong reasons to pick the Clippers.
The San Antonio Spurs Can Win Because…
They're playing at home and are going to be desperate. Plus, with Duncan, Ginobili, Parker, Splitter, and Green all getting the night off on Saturday against Dallas, this team’s legs should be available once again on Monday. Gregg Popovich has not been getting as many wins as he would like, but he’s still coaching at a very high level. It’s amazing that the Spurs’ third-rate lineup almost won in Dallas against the Mavericks, who had Rajon Rondo on the floor on Saturday. The Spurs are playing extremely well given all the missed games by their stars. With a fuller lineup presumably available for Monday, you should see a version of the Spurs that’s closer to what everyone expected at the beginning of the season.
One other big reason to take the Spurs? They allow 97.5 points per game, while the Clippers allow 100.2 points per game. That differential in defense could give San Antonio an edge.
The Spurs are not going to keep losing close home games to good teams. After all the stars took Saturday off, San Antonio should be refreshed enough to bounce back. Take them with your NBA picks.
Free NBA Pick: San Antonio