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NBA Midweek Best: Patty Mills steps up for sluggish Spurs

Wed, Nov 23, 11:03am by Staff Writer

Patty Mills’ San Antonio Spurs feature on ESPN in Australia this Thursday in the highlight of the midweek action as they travel to Charlotte to take on the Hornets, while later in the day Western Conference strugglers the Timberwolves and the Pelicans clash in New Orleans.

At, we’ve done our homework and picked out the best bets for the midweek TV matches here in Australia.

Spurs @ Hornets

Spectrum Centre, Charlotte – Thursday November 24, 11.00am AEDT

TV: Live on ESPN

Spurs coach Gregg Popovitch hasn’t been too impressed with the Spurs’ performance in recent matches, describing the effort against the Mavericks as pathetic, despite the fact they won to move to 11-3 on the season.

“I thought we showed a lack of humility, a lack of respect for the opponent, a very pathetic performance at both ends of the court, both in execution and in grunt, in fibre, in desire. It was an awful performance,” he said.

He was clearly concerned ahead of the match against the 8-5 Hornets

Mills’ form has been reasonable, as he scored 17 points with Tony Parker rested on Monday. It was his third best haul for the season, as he played 30 minutes.

There was no doubt the team won ugly against a Mavs team regarded as the worst in the league and they will need to find a little more consistency at both ends of the court in a tricky game against the Hornets.

The Hornets are a team filled with potential with Kemba Walker one of the most underrated guards in the game, averaging nearly 25 points this season. But back-to-back losses to the Pelicans and Grizzlies have raised questions.

Roy Hibbert, who is battling a knee injury, and Marvin Williams, who went 0-6 from the field on Monday, are in a bit of a slump and will need to find some form to contain the Spurs big forwards.

The Spurs are $1.54 favourites with William Hill, with the Hornets at $2.55. The line is at +4 in the Hornets’ favour.

If Paul Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge find their range, expect the Spurs to get away quickly from a Hornets side that is in desperate need of a win.

BEST BET: Spurs to beat the -4 line at $1.95.

Twolves @ Pelicans

Smoothie King Centre, New Orleans – Thursday 24 November, 1.30pm AEDT

TV: Live on ESPN

The Pelicans are hoping to continue their recent winning run against a Timberwolves side that has struggled of late. The Pelicans, who lost their first eight, are on a good run, having won five of their past seven, including the last three beating the Trailblazers, Hornet and Hawks.  Anthony Davis has been leading the line with some quality numbers averaging 30.5 (PPG) and 11.3 rebounds, but he did miss serious minutes against the Hawks after injuring himself early in the match. Should he not back-up, Jrue Holiday will need to take his game up a few notches.

The Timberwolves (4-9) fell away badly against the Celtics after leading by 13 points entering the fourth quarter. They managed just 12 points in the final stanza and the back end of games have been a problem all season.

The have relied a lot on Andrew Wiggins who has been explosive with 24.8 (PPG), but containing Davis will be a worry. He scored 62 points in two games against them last season.

Surprisingly, the T-Wolves start favourites at $1.77 with the Pelicans at $2.10.

The home court advantage and the all-star form of Davis, should he play, will be enough for the Pelicans to continue their winning streak. Expect the Wolves to start strong but fade towards the back end of the game.

BEST BET: Pelicans to win at $2.10

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