San Antonio Spurs at Washington Wizards (-1.5, 194.5 o/u)
It’s never easy coming off a championship season.
In recent years, the San Antonio Spurs (23-15, 10-9 away) seemed impervious to the cliché. This season, however, the veteran squad is showing signs of distress. There is still a lot of time left in the season; but, if the playoffs started today, the Spurs would currently be the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.
“We had that tough schedule last month, and we put ourselves in a hole. It’s a long season, and it’s time, we’ve got time to fight back,” Tim Duncan said. “But we’ve got to start now. We’ve got to start focusing, concentrating on racking up the wins no matter where it is, whether it’s home or on the road or whoever it’s against.”
Injuries have been the main problem for the team; Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter, and Tony Parker have all missed for large periods of time this season.
“It’s been someone different every night,” head coach Gregg Popovich said. “If we knew a few guys would be out for three weeks, then you can get into a rhythm with that group. But we haven’t been able to do that because it seems like it’s different people every other game.”
With Parker and Splitter back in the fold, the Spurs are showing signs of life of late, winning four of their last five games. Tonight, they travel to face the Washington Wizards (25-12, 16-4 home), a team they beat at home last week (101-92).
Despite playing well for most of the season, the John Wall-led Wizards have lost four of their last seven and now find themselves four games back of the Atlanta Hawks in the Southeast Division. The team was demolished by the red-hot Hawks in its last outing, 120-89.
Wall knows facing the defending champs won’t be any easier.
“San Antonio is a team that knows how to play the right way …”We were right there with those guys until the last five minutes and we’ve got to come back and try to take care of homecourt,” Wall said of the recent loss in San Antonio.
While the Spurs are 4-5-1 ATS in their last ten games, the team is 5-4 as an away dog. That’s why San Antonio and the points (+1.5) is the play.
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)