San Antonio - Minnesota
There’s a meeting between the NBA’s best power forward and the finest ever to play the position on Friday and it promises to bring some intrigue to the clash between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves in Texas.
Kevin Love comes into the game averaging 23.9 points and 13.8 rebounds and he’s scored 26 both times as the T-Wolves have compiled consecutive wins to move back up to a .500 record. But he’ll get a challenge from Tim Duncan – still going strong at the age of 37 – who is putting up 13.4 and 8.3. And significantly, the Spurs are off to a 17-4 start with just two losses at home.
Minnesota have the framework to emerge as a contender in the West in the years to come with Love as their fulcrum and Ricky Rubio pulling the strings. However their bench is a weakness, adding only 22 points per night compared with a massive 45.6 by the Spurs’ second unit. That can make them vulnerable in second quarter spells and will offer value on the hosts for a half-time lead.
Defensively, the Timberwolves are also a liability despite Love’s looming presence and with the total points line at 207.5, and San Antonio at -8.5 on the handicap at 1.90, the Spurs could blitz by.
New Orleans – Memphis
How the tide has turned for the Memphis Grizzlies due to their own misfortunes. With Quincy Pondexter likely done for the season, and Marc Gasol, Tony Allen and Ed Davis all sidelined, they’ve gone 4-6 over their last ten and slipped back to a 10-11 record.
That makes it a bad time to visit the New Orleans Pelicans, winners of six of their last ten. All those have been over strugglers but they’ve managed to get rebounding from other sources in the absence of Anthony Davis. But with both toiling offensively, look under the total points line of 192.5 with the hosts at -4.5 on the handicap at 1.90.
Take over the total points line of 207.5 in San Antonio-Minnesota at 1.88
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