A former Spurs legend will make his return to San Antonio with his new team today. The fans of the 25-19 San Antonio Spurs should give Tony Parker of the 19-23 Charlotte Hornets a warm welcome back (8:30 p.m. ET Monday on NBATV).
Parker played 17 seasons in San Antonio, winning four NBA titles and appearing in six All-Star games. The 36-year-old floor general is just a backup at this point in his career, but he’ll figure to play a significant role against his former team.
Will the Spurs be gracious hosts to the Hornets as a whole, though? San Antonio has been rolling at home as of late, and this game will complete a six-game road trip for Charlotte, which has only won one road game in the past five weeks.
We’ll preview this matchup from a strategic point of view before moving to the betting side of things. We will conclude with our Charlotte Hornets vs San Antonio Spurs predictions, and in a bid to beat the USA online bookies, give our picks.
Can DeMar DeRozan Break Out of His Shooting Slump?
The Spurs’ DeRozan offers scoring punch from the wing that the Hornets’ wings just can’t match, if DeRozan is on his game. The 29-year-old swingman is averaging 22.1 points per game this season and has the ability to drop 35 points on any given point.
Charlotte’s top wing scorer is Jeremy Lamb, who averages 15.1 points per game. That’s not bad, but Lamb has just one game of 25 points or more this season. DeRozan has 19 such games.
However, the Spurs’ small forward is in the midst of a slump. He is averaging only 16.4 points per game in his last seven contests. He is shooting only 38.3 percent from the field and an uncharacteristic 74.2 percent from the free-throw line.
Since the Hornets’ don’t have much scoring punch from the wing, this game is a chance for DeRozan to set himself apart.
Which Team Will Turn the Other Over More Often?
The Hornets and Spurs are two above-average offensive teams who succeed partially due to their ability to limit turnovers. In fact, they rank first and second in the league in lowest turnover percentage, respectively.
Both squads can score in transition occasionally, but they need their opponents to make mistakes and allow steals, as neither squad really has good length or athleticism or gambles for steals. Otherwise, this should be a game that will mostly be played in a half-court setting.
This should be a fascinating battle of ball protection between two careful offenses. Which squad will execute its strategy better by not being careless with the ball?
Can Charlotte Stop San Antonio’s Three-Point Shooting?
The Hornets have strategically been more of a conservative defense over the past several years. They prefer to protect the paint rather than aggressively close out on three-point shooters. Sometimes, this works. Sometimes, it doesn’t.
If the Spurs are as hot from downtown as they have been recently at home, the Hornets’ strategy will not suffice. San Antonio has made 11.3 threes per game at home in its last 13 games at the AT&T Center with a stunning success rate of 48 percent.
Not surprisingly, San Antonio has won 12 of those 13 games. The average point differential for the Spurs in the stretch is plus-16.3.
Charlotte has had a rough road trip. If the team wants to end it on a high note, stopping the Spurs’ long-distance game will be a high priority.
Our Preview’s Charlotte Hornets vs San Antonio Spurs Betting Picks & Predictions
The Spurs have just been so great at home as of late (17-6 against the spread for the season), and the Hornets have been so bad on the road (8-12 against the spread this season). The line would have to be pretty lopsided in San Antonio’s favor for me to pick against them. So here are my Hornets at Spurs predictions:
- The Spurs are only an 8.5-point favorite at home. That’s not enough to swing my pick to Charlotte. Put your money on the Spurs -8.5 @ best odds of -110 with Intertops, BetOnline or Bookmaker.
- San Antonio’s offense is surging right now, especially at home, and Charlotte’s defense is declining. The Hornets have allowed at least 122 points in six of their last 10 games. The smart play is betting the over 223 total points @ -110 with Bovada, Bookmaker or BetOnline.