San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors Pick 2/6/19
San Antonio Spurs (0-0, 0-0 ATS) vs. Golden State Warriors (0-0, 0-0 ATS)
When: Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 – 10:30 pm ET
Where: ORACLE Arena – Oakland, CA
Point Spread: SA +11/GSW -11 (YouWager)
Last Night in the NBA
It’s far too early to tell, but it seems as though Dwyane Wade’s final game in Portland may be a happier affair than I originally anticipated. For a guy who is the self-proclaimed master of narrative, I sure do miss a lot of lay-ups. I’ll be better at providing you the karmic and cosmic storylines surrounding my bets from now on – I promise. UPDATE: Eff Dwyane Wade.
While the Heat and Trail Blazers have a play date, the rest of the NBA is putting a bow on its Tuesday night. Tobias Harris and Justin Holiday had last-second game-winning shots for their teams (yes, seriously), Dennis Smith began his true metamorphosis into the Steve Francis of the modern era with 25 points on 25 shots in a losing effort, and either the Lakers traded away all of their guys and played short-handed without my knowledge or something went horribly, horribly astray. A LeBron James-led team having noticeable, public chemistry issues? I wish you could see the look of shock on my face.
The NBA rumor mill is in a full churn right now, but we have a nice little match-up on Wednesday night as an appetizer for the trade deadline bonanza. The Warriors are coming off of an ass-kicking of the Los Angeles Lakers from Saturday night and are still out for blood after the Philly loss. Meanwhile, the Spurs are licking their wounds after being manhandled by Marvin Bagley III in a public beatdown that lost me and the fine readers of Predictem some hard-earned cash. The champs are rolling, and sportsbooks like them as 11-point favorites over the visiting Spurs with the total set to an eye-opening 233.5 points. Look at me, Popp – I am the captain now.
The Burr in their Saddle
For a team without super high-end talent, the San Antonio Spurs have impressed many this season. Even without a three-point shooting offense, they’ve managed to climb all the way up to fourth in Offensive Rating, and they score as efficiently as any team in the league. But for whatever reason, they cannot get over the hump when they play on the road. They currently are 22-7 with a +6.9 differential at home, the mark of a top-3 team. But as the away team, they’ve won only 10 out of 26 contests and have a -2.8 point differential, which would place them in the bottom-10. The San Antonio crowd is not a particularly rowdy bunch, and you wouldn’t typically associate the Spurs with a distinct home-court advantage. But I guess when your team is comprised of overachieving young guys, G-Leaguers and role players, friendly rolls matter more.
Unfortunately for the wayward Spurs, they’re about to enter the unfriendliest rims in the league. The Warriors have a long and storied hostile home-court atmosphere, and it’s a tall task ahead of San Antonio. In order to keep pace with the champs, the Spurs are going to need to reach into their bag of tricks. With the league’s eighth slowest pace and best turnover percentage, San Antonio’s best option is to play keep away. If they really care about taking down the Warriors in this one, that is precisely the game plan that we’ll see.
Outside of a concerted effort to limit the Dubs’ offensive possessions, all of the pressure again falls on the shoulders of Aldridge and DeRozan. With LA getting the All-Star nod over his (more deserving, in my opinion) teammate, look for him to try to validate that selection against Draymond and Co. Both of these guys have the tools and the make-up to give a potentially apathetic Warriors team fits. But if the Dubs are locked in – sayonara Los Spurs.
We’re in The End Game Now
Dr. Strange could’ve looked through another 14 million scenarios for the rest of this season, and there’s no chance he would’ve seen anything except for a Warriors title. With the forecasted player movement that is going to go down this summer, the end of the Warriors dynasty is in sight. But what exactly does that look like? Are Klay and KD really going to leave the three-time reigning champions? Are we going to get a Stephen Curry Lone Survivor season? Will Boogie stick around? Dark horse: *whispers* is this an Anthony Davis trade candidate? The certainty that the Warriors win the NBA title again this year is rounded up to 100%, but the certainty of what this team looks like on Opening Night of 2019 is falling fast.
The Warriors look unstoppable of late, but the Spurs are a wily bunch. If not for a 76ers-sized hiccup last week, the Dubs would be smack in the middle of an epic string of victories, and we may still see that very run as Boogie rounds into form. The league’s best offense is only getting better, and now that they have a legitimate big-man scoring threat, the floodgates have been open. Do you really need me to make the case that Golden State can win this game by double digits? Stephen Curry, the greatest shooter of all time by a landslide, will be guarded by some combination of Patty Mills, Bryn Forbes and Derrick White. Klay Thompson is one of the best heat check players of all time, and he’s currently hot. Kevin Durant and Boogie Cousins are cheat codes. Are you getting the picture? In case you’re having trouble picking up what I’m putting down: The Warriors may legitimately be unstoppable, and 11 points may look insulting by the end of this game.
There was a time in the not-so-distant past that the Spurs getting 11 points from any opponent would have been unfathomable, but this is now the world we live in. It’s hard to wager against one of the three greatest basketball teams of all-time in the midst of one of their better month-long performances playing at home against an underwhelming group. I know what you’re thinking – this is around the time that I usually forego all of the stats and trends in favor of making a pick with my heart or my gut instead of my head. And on most days, you would be right. I have a strong urge to take the points. But I’ve made a pretty good living by not betting against generational talent, and the 11 points aren’t really scaring me away. I checked with the karma Gods, and you can safely bet the Dubs in this one. I guarantee it.