NBA Betting: Could Tony Parker's injury totally derail the Spurs' playoff hopes?

The most intriguing Conference semi-final of the NBA Playoffs just got a lot more interesting.

Poised at 1-1 with the Houston Rockets heading into Friday’s Game 3, have the San Antonio Spurs hopes of a championship run been toppled by the season-ending injury to Tony Parker?

Certainly, the emotional scars will be painful for the 2014 Champs. Parker was having his best post-season since then, averaging 15.2 points and shooting 52.5 per cent from the field.

He is their floor leader and face of the franchise since the retirement of Tim Duncan. And with his untimely exit, the Spurs have dropped to 11.00 for the title with Houston just 7.00 to go undefeated over the next three contests and seize the series 4-1.

But let’s not count out San Antonio just yet. For one, the perennially under-rated Patty Mills is the best non-starting point guard in the NBA. He’s been putting up 9.4 points in just 20 minutes per night and anyone who has watched him in action for Australia knows how well he can run a team full-time.

He’s also a better defender now than the ageing Parker which could give Gregg Popovich a double option to corral James Harden who was guarded by Kawhi Leonard from the start in in the Spurs 121-96 Game 2 win on Wednesday.

Leonard, evidently, gets a bigger role now. He’s shown himself capable of shouldering any extra load. With the first two games mirror images at either end, there’s more pressure now on the Rockets to lift off, especially with two games on their home court.

The Spurs still have the capacity to excel and there’s a lot of value on them to nick Game 3 at 2.70. But even if they have enough to get past Houston, beating the Golden State Warriors – with all their backcourt speed- has become more improbable now.

Best bet: Go over 216.5 total points in Houston-San Antonio at 2.10.


Sunday special

The Washington Wizards dominated Boston in Game 3 on Thursday for a 116-89 win that reduces the Celtics series lead to 2-1.

But it was atypical for the Cs. Fouls and physicality from Washington knocked them out of sync with Isaiah Thomas held to just 13 points.

That’s a unique scenario and Boston can be expected to come back scrapping, especially with more offense on show.