Defense Gives Spurs Hope in Battle with Rockets

Sunday, April 1, 2018 4:19 AM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 1, 2018 4:19 AM UTC

They won’t say if or when Kawhi Leonard will be back, but the San Antonio Spurs haven’t folded their tents – and they might be a solid NBA pick against the Houston Rockets.

<h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/houston-rockets-vs-san-antonio-spurs-3264173/" title="Rockets vs. Spurs">NBA Betting: Rockets vs. Spurs</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NBA Pick: Spurs +2.5</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4435&amp;book=Pinnacle" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Pinnacle</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3264173, "sportsbooksIds":[238,19,93,139,1275], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Will Kawhi Leonard ever play another game for the San Antonio Spurs? We might never know. Leonard has tendinopathy in his right quadriceps; he was reported as medically cleared in late February and, in theory, he could be back any day now – including today (3:30 p.m. ET; ABC) when the Spurs host the Houston Rockets.<br /><br />Just don’t expect the Spurs to help us out with any reliable information about Leonard’s status. The <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/" title="NBA Odds">NBA odds</a> for this matchup came out very late, but let's do what we can to get ready.</p><p> </p><h2>Everybody Ignores Chris</h2><p>First, there’s another MVP-level player who’s definitely not suiting today. Houston's Chris Paul (plus-7.3 BPM) is going to sit this one out, and at press time it looks like the official reason will be DNP-Rest, although the Rockets (62-14 SU, 40-35-1 ATS) originally said it was a sore left hip. Eric Gordon (minus-0.8 BPM) is expected to play despite a sore knee, so at least Houston will be able to recoup some of the offense they’ll lose without Paul in the backcourt. Nene (minus-0.5 BPM), on the other hand, appears to be out with a sore back.<br /><br />Paul remains one of the best players in the NBA – just not quite as good this year as his teammate, James Harden (plus-10.9 BPM), who’s a slam-dunk to win the MVP award despite every attempt to put LeBron James (plus-9.7 BPM) or even Damian Lillard (plus-6.5 BPM) in the mix. The Rockets are still winning games left and right with Harden running the show; however, they’re anything but profitable at 17-5 SU and 10-13 ATS without Paul.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;Chris Paul was the real 2007-08 MVP.&lt;/p&gt;— Nekias Duncan (@NekiasNBA) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/NekiasNBA/status/979834886717616128?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;March 30, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>The Spurs (44-32 SU, 40-34-2 ATS) don’t have any other MVP candidates besides Leonard, who has played only nine games this year. But they do have LaMarcus Aldridge (plus-3.1 BPM) as a quality offensive weapon, plus a lot of guys who play All-Star defense. San Antonio is fighting hard for one of those last six (!) playoff spots in the Western Conference that hasn’t been sewn up yet. They’re 8-2 SU and ATS in their last 10 games.</p><p>We’ll put the Spurs plus the points in our <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/">NBA picks</a>, but make sure you like the price you’re getting if you want in, and may the sphere be with you.</p>
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