Sharp NBA bettors know the defending champion San Antonio Spurs have one goal and that's to make the NBA Playoffs. Tonight they face the worst team in the West in the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. This game can be seen on FSSW. According to BetOnline's opening odds, the Spurs are an 11.5 points betting favorite and the total is 205.5.
I'm not talking about the outcome of the game, I'm talking about what is swimming in the mind of Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Pop doesn't care about the home town fans. Any opportunity to rest some of his older players and he will take advantage.
This game is the perfect opportunity to sit Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Tony Parker could also sit, but Pop has put some pressure on Parker and we'll get to that shortly.
This game could get ugly early and we could see the Spurs bench by the end of the 3rd quarter. Although they've won only 6 out of their last 10 games, the Spurs have been starting to get into post-season form and they have the ability to sneak up on some teams. Until they lose the NBA Finals, I still consider them a contender.
Taking the Whip to the Horse
As I stated earlier, Gregg Popovich knows how to get the most out of his players and he's publicly stated that without Tony Parker, the Spurs won't win. Parker had been battling injuries and having one of the worst seasons of his career. Since those comments. Parker has been one of the best point guards and looking like the Tony Parker of old.
Parker is coming off a 31 point effort against Lebron James and the Cavs and in his last 5 games, Parker is averaging 25.8 points, 5.4 assists, and 3 rebounds on 60% shooting from the field. Pop knows how to motivate his players. If Parker continues to play like this, the Spurs will be a dangerous team and the Wolves are no match of Tony Parker and the Spurs.
Kawhi's the Guy
Kawhi Leonard is the reigning MVP of the NBA Finals and the best player on the Spurs team as he's in his prime. All you had to do was watch how Kawhi defended against Lebron James and you can see that he's taken his game to the next level. Numbers are irrelevant when speaking of Kawhi Leonard. Charles Barkley called him one of the 10 best players in the game today and Barkley was spot on. Leonard is the guy that will give Popovich 35 minutes and he's the main guy on one of the best teams in the NBA. That said, Leonard occasionally goes through the motions with teams such as the T-Wolves until the playoffs begin.
When forming your NBA pick, know that the Timberwolves have nothing to keep their heads down about as they made a spectacular move for Andrew Wiggins. The Kevin Love experiment hasn't exactly worked out well for Cleveland and the Wolves have themselves a superstar for the next 15 to 20 years in Wiggins. Wiggins has elevated the level of his game in his last 10 games, averaging 18.4 points and 4.3 rebounds. This kid is just 20 years old. For now, the Timberwolves will lose, but Wiggins brings them a very bright future.
The only pick way to go in this game is to side with the NBA odds favored Spurs and ignore the garbage time.
NBA Pick- San Antonio -12.5 at the Greek