San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Tip off: 8 PM EST
Spread: SAS -1
M/L: SAS -120, MIN -EVEN-
The fact that the Spurs are 12-7 and have been playing without Manu Ginobili is pretty impressive. When Ginobili went down, he was having one of his best seasons as pro, but several Spurs, including rookie Kawhi Leonard and veteran Richard Jefferson, have stepped up to fill the scoring void left by Manu. That’s not even to mention the fact that Tony Parker is having one of his best seasons as a pro. Parker is averaging 17.6 points per game and 8.1 assists per game and seems to be a lock to make another All-Star team. Tim Duncan, while no longer the force he used to be, is still a serviceable big man whose leadership greatly exceeds his value as just a scorer at this point.
The Timberwolves have been drastically improved, but are still two games below .500 at 8-10. They have to credit the improvement both to the awesome play of Kevin Love and the stellar rookie campaign of Spainiard Ricky Rubio. Rubio is seeing 33 minutes a game and putting up 11.1 points per game, 8.7 assists per game, and he ranks among the league leaders in steals with 2.6 swipes a game. Small forward Michael Beasley has been injured most of the season, and has been inconsistent when he does play, but he and rookie Derrick Williams represent the keys to the Timberwolves improving going forward.
Spurs betting trends:
The Spurs are 6-3 SU in their last 9 games and the total has gone UNDER in 6 of their last 9 games. The Spurs are 2-11 SU in their last 13 games on the road and they are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 road games.
Wolves betting trends:
Minnesota is 4-2 SU in their last 6 games and the total has gone OVER in 4 of the Wolves’ last 5 games. They are 8-17 SU in their last 25 games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 at home.
Tim Duncan vs. Kevin Love
Love has been one of the best power forwards in the league and declared himself the best PF in the league earlier this season. That’s great, but he’s going against an NBA legend in Tim Duncan, and though Duncan’s offense has declined drastically, he is still a very solid defender and rebounder. Does that mean he can contain Love? I’m not sure, to be honest. Love seems to have good games against every team in the league and taking Duncan out beyond the three point arc could pose problems for the Spurs. Moreover, it’s always difficult to keep Love off the glass, and Duncan will need the help of DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter to prevent Love from going for another 20 point,. 20 rebound game, as he has done frequently this season.
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