On paper, this game draws a lot of interest because of the talent and star power on each of the teams rosters. It seems that today, both the San Antonio Spurs and Brooklyn Nets are battling injuries amid the long season. In the last meeting of the season between both teams, it will be interesting to watch nonetheless. Taking place in Brooklyn, this is the first game of the Thursday night doubleheader.
The Spurs come into the game with an injury-laden roster, as well as forcing to play two overtimes to outlast the relentless Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. The team is without Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard, who are both nursing injuries, and will also be without Tony Parker, who left the game soreness in his lower back. For some reason, regardless of who is on the floor for the Spurs, they find ways to win. Thursday’s game against the Nets will be no easy task, but I believe that coach Gregg Popovich will have his team ready to play no matter who is suiting up. The Spurs need to keep up pace with the rest of the top teams in the Western Conference. Many wonder if the team has finally lost its battle with Father time, but it has yet to be determined. I still have a feeling that Tim Duncan might have a few miles left in the tank.
One of the other teams who can relate to the issues the Spurs are facing right now are the Nets. It seems that throughout the season, the team’s storylines have been molded around injuries and money. The amount of money that is being spent on the All-Stars and future hall of famers have seemed to put the Nets in a position that they had yet to earn. The slow start to the season had many doubting whether or not last off-seasons moves were worth the price. Now things have turned around a bit and the Nets are winning games. They finished off the month of January at 10-3, with two losses coming to the hands of the Toronto Raptors (thanks Drake) and one against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Nets are hopeful to get back Joe Johnson and Andray Blatche for the game against the Spurs. The 21-25 squad is just looking to get enough wins to get into the playoffs and be ready to make a run with their experienced roster against some inexperienced teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Pick: This game should be the old classic game of basketball as I do not expect a lot of run and gun. I do expect both teams to come out and play defense. I am interested to see how the Spurs handle the point guard duties with Parker being out and who will be guarding Deron Williams – if he decides to show up. I also have my eye on Joe Johnson. Coming back from injury he will be looking to get into a nice rhythm before the All-Star break arrives. I have the Nets taking this one, since they need it more out of the two teams; Spurs 94 – Nets – 99.
National TV: TNT
Time: 8:00 PM EST