Free NBA Picks: Nets at Spurs Odds
by Alan Matthews - 12/30/2013
Really, how much longer can the Brooklyn Nets keep Jason Kidd in his coaching role? Every week it appears something new happens that shows Kidd is pretty clearly overmatched in the role.
Reportedly Kidd called out the Nets following their really ugly 17-point home loss to the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day, saying: "No matter if we go down eight and there's 30 seconds on the clock or in the game, we've gotta believe that we can still find a way. And right now we go down and we kind of give in to that fight, so we've gotta continue to keep grinding, and if I have to keep rotating guys until I find the ones that are gonna fight, then that's what I've gotta do."
Kidd does appear to still have the locker room as veteran Kevin Garnett stood up and also was venting his frustration, including some reports he stormed out of the locker room. KG is about 10 percent the player he used to be, but he's still very respected, so as long as Kidd has his backing maybe he can survive. The Nets did follow that Bulls loss with a 104-93 win over a terrible Milwaukee team on Friday, but then Brooklyn was back to its losing ways on Saturday with a 14-point defeat at Indiana.
In many ways, the overpaid, underachieving Nets are the exact opposite of their Tuesday opponent, the Spurs. It's one of the most class, professional organizations in sports, and you never hear about player in-fighting or locker room issues. Winning helps matters obviously.
Nets at Spurs Betting Story Lines
San Antonio has reached triple digits in seven straight games, winning five of them. Tuesday's game is the second of a four-game homestand. The Spurs opened it with a 112-104 victory over Sacramento. The Kings led the game by nine with about 11 minutes left and still three with 3:24 remaining. The Spurs' Big 3 of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili combined for 25 of the team's 31 fourth-quarter points, including the final 21.
Remember how bad Ginobili was at times in last year's playoffs? He has bounced back in a big way. He had a season-high 28 against the Kings -- his most points since March 2011 -- and is shooting .479 from the field overall, well above his career numbers. He's scoring 12.5 points per game in just 23.8 minutes. It's all about keeping him fresh for the playoffs, just like Duncan and to a lesser extent Parker. San Antonio is pounding the bad teams this year but has struggled against the elite with losses to Portland, Oklahoma City, Houston, Indiana and the L.A. Clippers.
If San Antonio leads this game heading into the fourth quarter, it's over. Brooklyn is 0-18 when trailing after three. The Nets are also 0-15 when allowing 100 points. I'm not sure whose contract is worse, Deron Williams' or Joe Johnson's. Williams is averaging just 12.7 points per game. Johnson is down to 15.8 and has totaled 15 points in the Nets' past two games. Garnett is at a ridiculous 6.6 points per game. Pierce is at 12.6. Where can you even start the rebuild here? No one will want these guys.
Brooklyn of course remains without center Brook Lopez, the one guy who was playing well, the rest of the season. Backup center Andray Blatche also is out until this weekend for personal reasons. Mirza Teletovic has seen a huge spike in minutes of late and has responded, averaging 15.8 ppg in the past five (17 three-pointers). He'd actually have some trade value, making only a little more than $3 million this year.
Nets at Spurs NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, San Antonio opened as a 13-point favorite with a total of 205. The Nets are 12-18 ATS (6-9 on the road) and 17-12-1 “over/under” (8-6-1 on road). The Spurs are 16-15 ATS (5-10 at home) and 20-11 O/U (11-4 at home). Brooklyn is 6-1 ATS in its past seven Tuesday games. The Nets are 1-5 ATS in their past six against teams with a winning record. The Spurs are 4-0 ATS in their past four Tuesday games. They are 7-2 ATS after allowing at least 100 points in their previous game. San Antonio is 1-7 ATS in its past eight at home. The over is 4-1 in Brooklyn's past five road games against teams with a winning record. The over is 7-1 in San Antonio's past eight playing on one day of rest. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in their past five meetings. The under is 5-1 in the past six in San Antonio.
Free NBA Picks: Nets at Spurs Betting Predictions
The Spurs have won five straight against Brooklyn -- neither was close last year -- and 10 in a row at home. Parker torched the Nets by averaging 24.5 points and 8.5 assists in the two wins a season ago. You always have to be on the lookout for potential games where Coach Gregg Popovich may sit one of his Big 3, but with only three games all week and all at home that shouldn't be relevant. That said, I'll almost always take 13 points in an NBA game. So Nets and the over.
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