Getting Even Better

He may have led the San Antonio Spurs to the NBA title last June, but Tony Parker appears to be getting even better.

The All-Star point guard looks to continue his outstanding play Friday night when the Spurs visit the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made San Antonio –9.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 193 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 90% of bets for this game have been placed on San Antonio –9.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Parker, the 2007 NBA Finals MVP, leads the Spurs (13-3) with 20.5 points per game and 6.9 assists after topping the team last season with averages of 18.6 and 5.5, respectively. His terrific start has helped San Antonio to the top of the Western Conference.

"I have always been the smallest guy out there," the 6-foot-2 Parker said. "I had to watch guys like (Michael) Jordan and how they got shots up and just tried to do that. Sometimes when you dream it up it just happens. I have to just do it instinctively."

Parker shot 12-for-18 from the field Wednesday, scoring 20 of his 29 points in the second half while adding a season-high 11 assists in a 109-94 victory over Washington.

"He's getting better and better at reading the situation and seeing what's given," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He did a great job scoring, but he also found people. He hit open people for great shots and that's what a point guard does."

Parker has been at his best lately, averaging 24.5 points and 8.5 assists in the last six games while San Antonio has gone 5-1.

"Tony in these last few games has been amazing," said Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili, who is second on the team with 19.2 points per game. "The way he has been breaking down defenses and finding their weaknesses. After last year, and what he showed he can do we got used to it and now he is showing us that we can expect that out of him."

Parker, though, has struggled shooting the ball in the Spurs' three losses this season - all on the road. He has made only 39 percent of his shots from the field for 13.3 points per game with 6.7 assists in those contests, including a 12-point, seven-assist performance in a 112-99 defeat at Sacramento on Monday.

The Spurs, who are 4-3 on the road, have won six of the last seven meetings with the Timberwolves (2-11), including two of three last season. The lone loss came at the Target Center, 103-101 in overtime on Jan. 3.

The Timberwolves have only won once in their last 15 home games dating back to last season. They have been outscored by an average of 11.3 points in that span.

Minnesota is coming off a 109-103 loss at Dallas on Wednesday, during which it trailed by as many as 20 points in the second half and coach Randy Wittman saw the near-comeback as a moral victory.

"That's what these guys do. I'm proud of them - they respond and they fight," Wittman said. "I thought in the half court our defense was really good."

Al Jefferson had a season-high 31 points and 14 rebounds, and has emerged as the Timberwolves' top performer with 20.7 points and 11.2 rebounds per game - both team highs.

Jefferson, whom Minnesota acquired in a blockbuster offseason trade from Boston for Kevin Garnett, has totaled 46 points and 26 rebounds in his last two games against San Antonio.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Headlines

  • SAN ANTONIO (AP) LeBron James has joined the NBA's 30,000-point club.
    James became the seventh player with 30,000 career points when he hit a jumper with one second left in the first quarter ...
  • NEW YORK (AP) Stephen Curry will be able to stock his All-Star roster with plenty of Golden State teammates.
    Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were chosen as reserves Tuesday, giving the defen...
  • LOS ANGELES (AP) Does Kobe Bryant need another trophy? He might get one - at the Oscars.
    Bryant, the retired Los Angeles Lakers star, was nominated in the animated short category for ''Dear B...
  • A person familiar with the situation says Cleveland Cavaliers players voiced their concerns and displeasure during a meeting before practice on Monday.
    The Cavaliers have lost 10 of 14 and the...
  • INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) LeBron James knows the Cavaliers have a proven vaccine that could cure them of this midseason malaise: a larger dose of him.
    ''I gotta be much better,'' he said.
    ...

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Celtics vs. Lakers Pick Can the host Los Angeles Lakers cover the spread as an underdog tonight when they take on the Boston Celtics at 10:30PM...
Thumbnail Knicks vs. Warriors Pick Do the visiting New York Knicks have any shot to keep it competitive tonight when they play at the Golden State Warriors?...
Thumbnail Cavaliers vs. Spurs Pick Are the Cleveland Cavaliers going to bounce back from a rough stretch tonight at the San Antonio Spurs? Tip-off is...
Thumbnail Nets vs. Thunder Pick Is the smart money from bettors going to come in on the Brooklyn Nets today when they play at the Oklahoma City Thunder? Game time...
Thumbnail Kings vs. Magic Pick Are the host Orlando Magic going to cruise to a win tonight when they host the Sacramento Kings at 7PM...

NBA Team Pages