The Spurs are coming off a dominating performance over the Nets and now have their sights set on the Celtics. Let's review the NBA odds & find the right side to back with our NBA picks.
San Antonio Spurs (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
The NBA Odds makers hung the Spurs as 13 ½-point favorites as they welcomed the Nets to the AT&T Center. In the end that was heavy lumber well worth laying in your NBA Picks as the Spurs crushed the Nets 102-75. The Spurs found themselves trailing 47-42 at the half but things changed drastically when the teams returned to start the second half in which the Spurs outscored the Nets 60-28 en route to the blowout. It was a stark departure from their opening night loss to the Thunder where they fell 112-106 in Oklahoma City.
LaMarcus Aldridge, signed in the offseason to provide power up front and down low, has seen his role with the highly disciplined and formulaic Spurs morph from a "me-first" shooter to more of a team player. Last season the four-time All-Star averaged a whopping 20.3 shots per game but in his first two games of this season he has 23 shots from the field in total. But the future of the franchise is last season's NBA Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard. Both Aldridge and Leonard had double-doubles in their last outing and the success or failure of the franchise rests in large part with those players.
Boston Celtics (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
The measuring stick of just how far the Celtics have come and how far they have yet to go could be reflected in their first two games of the season. In their opener they manhandled one of the worst the league has to offer in the Philadelphia 76'ers with a 112-95 home victory. Two days later they tipped off against a legitimate playoff contender and fell 113-103 to the Toronto Raptors. This young, brash Celtics team has no lack of confidence but they are without the requisite bona fide superstar that takes good teams to the next level.
However what the Celtics do have is depth and plenty of it. Perhaps too much of it as head coach Brad Stevens has mixed and matched 37 five-man combinations. The starting five have played only 16 minutes together in two games and have been outscored by 11 points in that short span of time. But though it is early in the season the conundrum becomes is it worth rolling out all that depth at the expense of chemistry developing between the five best Stevens deems worthy to call his starters? As the season progresses that question will ultimately answer itself but for now Boston must decide if all those combinations are worth it in the long run.
NBA Betting Analysis
The last time these teams met in Boston was in November of last year and the Spurs dribbled out with a 111-89 victory. The teams met again in March and though the venue had changed the results were similar with San Antonio sending the fan friendlies home happy with a 101-89 win.
But this is a new season so does that mean new results as well? I don't believe so. The Spurs are a veteran team and even though center Tim Duncan is long in the tooth at age 39 he is still a viable contributor and the onus of making the offense spin is no longer squarely on his back. Kawhi Leonard is immense and will be even more of a force with LaMarcus Aldridge by his side as well as shooting ace Tony Parker in the backcourt. This team is simply too much for a band of young guns that haven't learned the NBA ropes nor have they had enough time to form any real chemistry with each other. This one goes to the Spurs.
NBA Pick: Play San Antonio -5.5 at Bookmaker