The Celtics are 15-0 vs. the Western Conference this year, and while Kevin Garnett is out, the Spurs are even more short-handed. Pick the Celts as a bargain home price.
The Boston Celtics will once again be without their best player, Kevin Garnett, who is out with an abdominal/groin injury, and that is the reason Boston is just a Pick’em at home vs. the San Antonio Spurs.
However, don't forget that San Antonio is also missing key players, with point guard Tony Parker (heel) and Brent Barry (leg) sidelined for a few more weeks. Both teams have played a number of games this season without one or two of their top three players and Boston has consistently played better than San Antonio when short-handed.
The reason Boston has the league's best record this year has been its field goal percentage defense (41 percent). That usually has been the Spurs' calling card, but San Antone has hovered around 19th in the league this year at 47 percent, so that gives a lot of Spurs fans cause for worry.
The reason the Champs have slipped is simple: age. Bruce Bowen is older and slower, and Gregg Popovich has given some of his minutes to newcomer Ime Udoka. Also, Robert Horry, a key rebounder and defender, is still working himself into shape.
Boston hasn't lost to a Western Conference team yet this season (15-0), and I look for that streak to continue today. Take the Celts.
Free Pick: Celtics (Pick’em)