Winthrop lost the NCAA Tournament play-in game to Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 61-44. This marked our first loss since the NEC Championship. However, we still have posted an impressive record of 12-4 so far this month. Time to start a new streak today.

Matchup: Tim Duncan PTS+REB vs. Dwight Howard PTS

On the season, Duncan has averaged 18.7 PPG and 10.4 rebounds per game. Howard has averaged 18.7 PPG on the season. Upon first glance, picking Duncan seems obvious. However, we need to go 2nd level in our analysis.

Duncan played on Tuesday night against the Heat. Duncan recorded a line of 11 points and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes. The Spurs defeated the Heat, 88-76. Duncan sat most of the 4th quarter as the Spurs assumed a 17 point lead. The Spurs and Magic have yet to play this season, so we don’t have any other data to base our judgments on. The Magic have not played since Sunday, so expect the Howard to be fully rested heading into the matchup.

In his last five games, Howard has averaged 20.8 points per game. Duncan has averaged a combined total of 20 points and rebounds in his last five games. However, Duncan logged only 13 minutes against the Clippers and 25 minutes against the Timberwolves. Both games were blowout wins for San Antonio.

With the playoffs looming, Coach Popovich is obviously trying to rest the 34-year-old Duncan. The game in Orlando will have a playoff-type feel to it so I expect Duncan to log 35+ minutes. Even with the skewed playing times this season, Duncan has averaged 31 minutes per game.

I’m going with Timmy Duncan today. Duncan always steps in big-time match ups and I don’t expect anything less on Wednesday night. A line of 15 points and 10 rebounds should be enough to defeat Howard.

The Pick: Tim Duncan PTS+REB

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March Record: 12-4