Tip-off is scheduled for Monday, 8:00 pm ET at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. This game can be seen on NBA TV.
The NBA odds were slow to come out, thanks in part to all of the injuries. However, the Bulls have been given the -2 price tag with a total of 190.5 on offer as well.
Not Doing Much…
Joakim Noah was listed as “not doing much” during Bulls practice on Sunday. This would lead me to believe that he might not be playing. The Spurs are also missing some of their star power, as Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are listed as doubtful for this game.
I saw the Spurs lay a 111-86 victory beating at Brooklyn on Sunday, and they looked nearly flawless.
Parker disassembled the Nets defense with his 29 points, 11 assists, and 3 rebounds on 12 of 21 shooting from the field. Parker wasn’t playing with a full lineup, but there’s no question; Tony Parker is the best point guard in the NBA.
I can find 7 or 8 rosters in the NBA that are better than the Spurs, but Parker makes his teammates better, and his work ethic is contagious.
Tiago Splitter is the perfect backup to Duncan, and when Tim is unable to play his normal minutes, Splitter is the perfect replacement.
Splitter is a great offensive rebounder with a nice shooting touch. If Joakim Noah is unable to play, look for Splitter to have a big game at the United Center. Regardless, he’ll give the Spurs the inside presence that they need without Duncan.
It doesn’t matter how old they are or who’s playing or not playing, the San Antonio Spurs are the best team in the Western conference.
The Bulls haven’t played since Friday’s 93-89 victory over Utah, and this can work for them or possibly against them. We’ll find out shortly.
Nate the Great
He might not be Nate the Great when Derrick Rose returns, but for now, Nate Robinson is the star point guard for the Chicago Bulls. Robinson was needed against Utah as he played a team high 45 minutes while providing 18 points, 9 assists, and 4 rebounds.
Although Robinson is playing like a star, he isn’t given the same credit that most team leaders are given. This can partially be related to the fact that he can be inconsistent at times and lacks maturity. There’s a reason why the Knicks and Celtics both got rid of Nate, but when he finds his step, he can be hard to handle. That said, he’s playing some outstanding basketball, averaging 17.4 points, 6.6 assists, and 3.2 rebounds in his last 10 games. The real test comes tonight against Tony Parker.
Playing With Inhibition
If Noah is out, the Bulls will need the offense and rebounding that forward, Carlos Boozer, brings to the table. It’s a tough time for Boozer for the fact that he’ll have to be looking over his shoulder as trade talks have been mentioned with the Bulls and the Raptors that would send Boozer to Toronto for Andrea Bargnani.
Personally, I think Boozer earns his contract, rarely gets injured, and is the better player, especially with a pending return of Derrick Rose. Boozer is averaging 15.8 points and 9.3 rebounds on the season and is coming off of a good game against Utah in which he had 19 points. Look for the Duke graduate to play well in this spot.
When it comes to making our NBA picks, I feel that the odds makers have undervalued San Antonio in this spot. I know that the Spurs are playing back to back, but they were super-impressive against a solid Brooklyn Nets team. If they play like that here, this will be another blowout. Take San Antonio in this spot; Tony Parker is playing out of this world.
NBA Picks: San Antonio SpursCheck out our Free NBA Picks: Monday Value Plays for more NBA betting selections.