Suns over Spurs for your NBA Picks

Jason Lake

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 12:14 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 12:14 PM GMT

So much for getting healthy. The San Antonio Spurs (and the NBA betting lines) are waiting to see whether Tony Parker will be available for Wednesday’s contest with the Phoenix Suns.

Jason’s record on his final NBA picks for 2013, up to December 16 inclusive:

25-25 ATS

5-5 Totals

There’s a reason why you should never blow your entire bankroll on one game. The San Antonio Spurs were my pick in Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, after getting back injured centers Tiago Splitter and Aron Baynes. But things went kablooey when PG Tony Parker (19.9 PER) left the game in the third quarter with a right shin contusion. The Clippers (+3 at home) pulled away for a 115-92 victory.

As we go to press, the Spurs have yet to release any further information on Parker’s status for Wednesday night’s matchup (9:00 p.m. ET) with the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. As a result, this game is circled on the NBA odds board; make sure to keep one eye on the injury reports and another eye on the basketball betting lines. Try to breathe through your third eye.

Special Update: Parker will miss the next two games for San Antonio, and will be re-evaluated later in the week.

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Sweet Shin Music

Point guard is the most important position on the court, and Parker is one of the very best players in the league at his position. There are very few weaknesses in his game; there’s the occasional brain cramp that comes with intelligence (no Frenchman jokes, please), and he only shoots 72 percent from the free-throw line, but few point guards can match Parker’s speed and playmaking ability. He’s giving the Spurs 20.9 points and 7.3 assists every 36 minutes, and hitting a career-high 40.7 percent from downtown.

San Antonio’s primary reserve options are Patty Mills (18.9 PER) and Cory Joseph (16.7 PER). Mills is a fourth-year guard out of Australia with plenty of hops, but not quite the same handle (3.1 assists/36) as Parker. Joseph is in his third season in the NBA; the plucky Canadian is still developing his game, but his shooting (47.7 FG%) and defense have both improved. You may also see Nando De Colo (9.5 PER) get some burn on Wednesday.

Go For 3

The Spurs (19-5 SU, 12-12 ATS) may have more depth than just about anyone else in the NBA, but they can’t replace Parker’s playmaking ability, and that’s going to be tough to overcome against the Suns (14-9 SU, 17-5-1 ATS). Their best two players are on the perimeter: Eric Bledsoe (22.2 PER) and Goran Dragic (21.5 PER). And for good measure, Phoenix head coach Jeff Hornacek was a shooting guard for 14 seasons in the NBA, winning the All-Star 3-point shootout twice.

The new-look Suns definitely take after their coach. Phoenix is eighth in the league in offensive efficiency, third in 3-point attempts and ninth in 3-point percentage (37.5). The Suns have the most profitable record in the NBA, and one of the best records for the OVER at 14-9. Local fans are also ecstatic with the development of the Morris Twins, Markieff (18.5 PER) and Marcus (17.7 PER). They could be the NBA’s answer to the Sedins, or at least the Cansecos.

As well as Phoenix is playing this year, their ATS record is primarily due to the lowered expectations everyone had for the Suns – except for the Suns themselves. They were supposed to be one of the many teams in the Andrew Wiggins Sweepstakes; trading center Marcin Gortat for injured center Emeka Okafor was only supposed to speed up the process. Instead, Phoenix looks like a legitimate playoff team, and Okafor will make for good trade ballast if the Suns want to upgrade before the playoffs. Tanking? Tanking is for losers.

Special Update No. 2: Vegas has opened this game as a pick ‘em.

NBA Pick: Take the Suns PK

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