Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs (39-12) vs. Brooklyn Nets (29-21)

By Joe Buettner

Dec 31, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) shoots against Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams (8) during the first half at the AT

Snow has hit the east coast, and it has hit it hard. The Spurs were forced to spend another day in the Motor City following their loss to the Pistons Friday night, but the Rodeo Road Trip must continue.

San Antonio visits the Brooklyn Nets Sunday night for a nationally televised contest at the Barclays Center. The Spurs’ 11-game win streak was snapped by a Detroit team that finally found its way out of its recent funk. Brooklyn will be looking for the same.

The Nets have struggled to find consistency and will look for some redemption Sunday coming off an 89-74 loss to the Washington Wizards.

The bad news for Brooklyn is their recent woes with this San Antonio team. Gregg Popovich has tormented the Nets, most recently a demoralizing 104-73 victory to end the 2012 calendar year.

Scoring only five points in the third quarter, the Nets just couldn’t hang with the Spurs in their last meeting. This time, they will have to come better prepared shooting-wise if they want to prevent San Antonio from becoming the first team to reach 40 wins this season.

Defensively, Tim Duncan is doubtful and puts a lot of pressure on Splitter and the front court to step it up against Brook Lopez and Co. Detroit’s Greg Monroe took advantage Friday, and Brooklyn would greatly benefit if they can work it inside and abuse a Spurs front court that doesn’t include 2013 All-Star selection Tim Duncan.

Manu Ginobili is doubtful as well, but the guard play from San Antonio has been quite impressive without the Spurs’ most electric player. Tony Parker has taken over as the lone superstar of this team, providing much of the scoring for the Spurs offense.

San Antonio needs a complete effort, though. The bench is capable of being a difference maker, and San Antonio will need that in game three of their long road trip.

The Spurs are only a 1.5 point favorite, though, 93.7% of the country is taking San Antonio on ESPN‘s “Streak For The Cash.” Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT and it will be nationally televised on ESPN.