San Antonio at Brooklyn
Time: 6 PM CT (NBA LP)
Spread: BRK -1.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Brooklyn Nets have lost six of its last 10 games and currently trail No. 5 Boston by 6.5 games. The Nets are 17-14 at home this season. Against the West, Brooklyn has gone just 9-13.
Brooklyn has recently received superb play from Russell, who is looking more like the superstar he was billed to be when the L.A. Lakers drafted him out of Ohio State. Over his last 10 games, Russell has averaged 22.9 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game and the Nets have gone 7-3 over that span.
In the month of January, Russell averaged 23 points and seven assists per game, markedly better than his 19 and six on the season. The 6’5” guard is thriving with Spencer Dinwiddie unavailable, as the pair before had (awkwardly) shared the playmaking responsibilities. With Dinwiddie entering free agency this summer, the Nets will have some choices to make with regards to its future 1-man for the rebuild, but this rebuild is bright.
The Nets are playoff contenders and now will be getting its draft picks back after surrendering several to the Boston Celtics as a result of the poorly planned trade that brought the Nets Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. While that trade did not work out, the Nets have been scrappy in assembling talents and are a force to be reckoned with already: With a top draft pick joining the fold, this team could reasonably be in the top-4 in the East as soon as next season.
SAN ANT TEAM NOTES:
The San Antonio Spurs have lost six of its last 10 games and are currently 33-28. It has dropped four of its last five.
The Spurs lead the Houston Rockets by one game in the Southwest Division standings, and this is a team truly without as much talent as Houston but it does possess one of the greatest coaches of all-time in Gregg Popovich. The Spurs replaced do-it-all forward Kawhi Leonard with 2-guard DeMar DeRozan this offseason, but this is not a Spurs team resplendent with offensive talents. LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay are both very solid strong veterans, but the rest of the roster is a rag-tag collection of players Popovich has found every way to maximize the respective talents of.
DeRozan and Aldridge combine to score 42.2 points per game, but the offense has hardly been a problem for this Spurs team which averages 112.3 points per game. Bryn Forbes has evolved into a very useful guard and is averaging 13.6 points per game, and Marco Belinelli is still a sharpshooter who thrives in the right system. The Spurs are hoping Derrick White can become a star, and he has looked good in his 22 starts this season.
Even Jakob Poeltl has found his defensive calling under Popovich and though he plays just 15 minutes a game, the Spurs utilize an 11-man rotation and call deep into its bench.
ATS TRENDS (C/o COVERS):