Betting Odds courtesy of Bovada
San Antonio has been doing its usual, and that’s been enough to be pretty dominant, as usual. The Spurs sit at 23-7 and will host the Sacramento Kings Sunday night in a game NBA oddsmakers are favoring the Spurs by 12-points. The Spurs have had its struggles of late, losing two of its past four, but the team did score a 116-107 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Dec 26 and will be well rested to take on this Sacramento team.
The Kings, for the most part, are a pretty nice collection of talent that can’t function cohesively as an actual basketball team. A look at the aggregate parts reveals a squad that should be far closer to .500 than its 9-19 record is.
DeMarcus Cousins is a very good offensive player and nice in the blocks, but his defensive lapses and inadequacies are worth noting. Cousins has averaged 22.7 points per game this season, though, while tiny point guard Isaiah Thomas ranks 2nd on the team in scoring with 19 points per game, in addition to dishing out 5.9 assists per contest.
The Kings attempted to address its issues by acquiring Rudy Gay from the Toronto Raptors, and gay has scored 18.8 points per game in his eight games for Sacramento. Gay receives a lot of criticism due to a bloated contract, but is still an above-average swingman in the NBA.
It’s fitting Gay alongside Cousins, Thomas, and 2013 draft pick Ben McLemore that may prove challenging. Marcus Thornton is another explosive scorer off the bench, and the Kings have no shortage of guys who can put the ball in the basket. The team is allowing 103.6 points per game this season, though, good for third-worst in the NBA. Meanwhile, that collection of great talent on offense is scoring at just about an average rate of 100 points per game.
While the Kings find a way to minimize just about every players’ talent, the Spurs do just the opposite. Boris Diaw remains out-of-shape, slow…but is strangely effective in Gregg Popovich’s system. Defensive stoppers find niches within his offense and Kawhi Leonard is such an example. The three men that make that possible are Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, of course. While
Duncan’s numbers have dipped a little this season to just 14.1 points and 9.5 rebounds, he’s still posting a 19.5 PER on the year and defensively helps make the Spurs the tough team they are on that end of the court. The Spurs force opponents into taking the shots that the defense wants them to take, and the result is the league’s fourth best defense (96.4 points per game allowed).
SAC Trends: OVER 4-0 in last 4 after scoring 100 or more in previous game; 0-4 ATS in last 4 road games vs teams with winning record; OVER 4-0 in last 4 after allowing 100 or more in previous game.
SAS Trends: OVER 5-0 in last 5 after allowing 100 or more in previous game; OVER 5-0 in last 5 vs teams with losing road records; OVER 4-0 in last 4 vs teams with winning percentages below .400.
Head-to-head: OVER 6-1 in last 7 meetings in San Antonio; OVER 4-1-1 in last 6 meetings.