NBA Picks: Spurs vs. Hornets

Joe Catalano

Monday, January 7, 2013 1:44 PM GMT

The New Orleans Hornets come into tonight's matchup as 8 point dogs as they play host to the San Antonio Spurs. Find out why we believe that the Hornets will put up more of a fight than they are getting credit for.

The New Orleans Hornets are coming off of an encouraging overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks and will look to expand on this as the San Antonio Spurs come to town. A win against the highly regarded Spurs could be what the Hornets need to turn their season around.

Tip-off is scheduled for Monday, 8:00 pm ET at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The NBA odds makers at 5Dimes Sportsbook have listed the Spurs as an 8 point favorite, and the total for the game is 193.5.

It's the Big Easy against the Big Fundamental and company. Who will prevail?

[gameodds]5/133718/19-43-999996-1096-23-93/us[/gameodds]

The Vasquez experiment

Incorporating Vasquez into the mix has worked very well for the Hornets, as they can use all of the production that they can get. Greivis Vasquez is playing the best basketball of his career and should be up for NBA Player of the Week honors if he continues to play at this level. Vasquez is coming off of another brilliant performance in the form of 25 points,9 assists, and 7 rebounds.

For New Orleans to have a shot at beating an experienced Spurs squad, Greivis Vasquez must continue his relentless onslaught. He faces a tough matchup against Tony Parker, but he has a significant size advantage and this could possibly give him the edge.

Battling back

It's evident that guard Eric Gordon isn't back to his old form as of yet. A good shooting game against the Spurs is needed, as he attempts to shake off the rust. Gordon has given the Hornets some production at 16.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, but he's been inconsistent shooting-wise, and shooting had been his bread and butter.

Look for Gordon to amass a significant number of points in this game, whether he has to hoist up 15 shots or not. He's not fully back to form, but the Hornets will gladly take the points and the effort.

Tinkering with the offense

Nobody tinkers with their offense more than head coach Greg Poppovich. He's messed with this lineup so much that it's cost the Spurs $250,000.00 in fines this season alone. I look at him as the Tony LaRussa of basketball, as Pop always tries to beat the system.

His madness appears to ben working, as Pop is getting the most out of point guard Tony Parker, who has hit the 30 year mark. Parker is no longer one of the young guys in the NBA, and the aging Spurs have continued to rely more and more on this seasoned veteran. Parker is coming off of a 20 point game in a blowout against Philly. Poppovich has been playing Parker less than 30 minutes per game, and while I think that this is sort of extreme, it is hard to argue with a coach like Gregg Poppovich.

The Hornets have plenty of talent, despite their misleading record, and the battle between Tony Parker and Greivis Vasquez could be the deciding factor. Vasquez is feeling confident and it's difficult to stop a player that’s got momentum on his side.

Outcome

I've been on a cold spell with my NBA picks lately, but you can't expect to win every bet. You ride out the rough times just like a basketball team would. Tonight, I'm going to push the issue once again and go against the better ball club. New Orleans shows lots of promise, and they seem to matchup well against the Spurs. Take the Hornets and the points at home.

NBA Pick: New Orleans +8 at 5 Dimes