Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This game will be covered by Ernie, Kenny, Shaq, and Chuck and the gang at TNT Network.
As expected, NBA odds makers have opened the Spurs as a heavy 6.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is 194.5.
Tim Duncan didn’t play last Saturday but he is expected to suit up for today’s game. For the 76’ers, Jason Richardson didn’t practice with a knee injury and his status is uncertain for this game.
Can the Sixers pull off the upset against the Spurs, and even more important, where does the best value lie for our NBA picks tonight.
From 2nd Tier to Borderline 1st Tier
I always like to classify players, and after the performance that Jrue Holiday put on in a 108-101 OT victory over the Toronto Raptors, it needs to be recognized.
The Sixers fought back from a 19 point deficit in this game to take it into overtime where Jrue Holiday took over. He scored all of Philly’s 12 points in overtime to give the 76’ers a hard fought victory. Thaddeus Young had a huge 27 point, 14 rebound game, but make no mistake about it, this was Jrue Holiday’s “coming out party” as a bonafide superstar it doesn’t go unnoticed. Now, it’s time for Holiday to electrify the Philadelphia fans on Martin Luther King Jr. Day against Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and company.
Glad To Have Thad…
Forward, Thaddeus Young, should play a vital role in this game as he’s coming off of a monster performance against the Raptors. Young will need to be at his best because Holiday won’t be able to do it all alone against a Western Conference powerhouse like the Spurs.
There should be no concern; Holiday has been the 2nd best player on this team and is super-consistent. His numbers of 14.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in January, are almost identical to his seasonal averages. This is consistency, but the Sixers wouldn’t mind a standout performance from the 5th year man out of Georgia Tech. Look for a solid game out of this grinder.
On Saturday and without Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs showed that they were still up to the task with a 98-93 victory over troubled star Josh Smith and the Atlanta Hawks. The Spurs eliminated mistakes with just 8 turnovers and Tony Parker led the way with 23 points and 12 assists. This proves that the Spurs can win without Duncan, but of course they would rather have the 6 foot 11 legend.
No folks, I’m not referring to the cable television device,which enables more than one television to have reception, I’m referring to the 83 inch part-time player from Brazil that gives the Spurs an added edge when this aging team need’s a “pick me up”.
Although he’s only played 2 years in the NBA, Tiago Splitter is already 28 years old. This is actually a positive in the Spurs case. Splitter gives this team some maturity and youth at the same time. He’s been a force to be reckoned with on the court as of late. He’s scored in double figures in his last 6 games and is shooting 60.6 % for the month of January. Splitter might never reach superstar status, but he’s a reliable and efficient fixture on a disciplined team such as San Antonio. If there’s any issues with Tim Duncan in this game, look for Tiago Splitter to pick up the pieces as Parker leads the offense.
I expect Philadelphia to come into this game rejuvenated after such a great victory over the Raptors. It’s the play on the court which decides the games, but playing on MLK Jr. Day, at home, could psych up the Sixers and give them an added motivation coming into this game. Look for this to be a close game. 6.5 points are just enough for the underdog Sixers to cover the spread against such a talented basketball team.
NBA Picks: Philadelphia +6.5