The Pelicans made a huge move at the NBA trading deadline getting Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum for a combination of players and draft picks.
New Orleans has crept into playoff contention in the Western Conference, coming into the week on a three-game winning streak. After starting the season 1-12, the Pelicans have been 20-20.
How great would it be if the Pelicans finally got the star, Zion Williamson, back at some point this season?
Saturday, as part of a six-game homestand at the Smoothie King Center, the Pelicans and their new guard will host the San Antonio Spurs.
Brandon Ingram was Western Conference Player of the Week last week and leads the Pelicans with 22.8 points a game. Jonas Valanciunas continues to do good work inside with 18.2 points and 11.7 rebounds.
Keep an eye on rookie Herb Jones, who had 25 points last week in a big win at Denver.
San Antonio isn’t the same team it was when it was winning four NBA titles in nine years. The Spurs entered the week 20-34 overall, 12th in the Western Conference. They are just 9-16 on the road this season.
What do the oddsmakers say?
Head over to these online Louisiana sportsbooks which are now live and offering major promotions to place a bet on the Pelicans.
Numbers and names
The Pelicans were 27-26 against the spread coming into the week and 14-10 at home. The Spurs were 28-26 against the spread, 14-11 on the road.
These two division rivals have played 70 times and the Spurs lead the all-time series 51-19.
Dejounte Murray leads the Spurs with 19.6 points a game. The Spurs have a balanced attack with eight players averaging over 10 points a game.
The biggest issue for the Spurs this season has been their inability to win close games. In games decided by 10 points or less this season, the Spurs are 7-19.
This will be the second game in as many nights for the Spurs, the so-called “back-to-back” games that appear on the team’s schedules every year. The Spurs were 5-11 on games with no rest day in between last season, they are 5-6 this season.
The big 10
In their last 10 games coming into the week, the Pelicans have been favored twice. Both times as the favorite they covered. Both of those games also went over.
Overall, in their last 10 games, the Pelicans have covered the spread six times. Four of their last 10 games have gone under the posted total.
The Spurs have been underdogs in six of their last 10 games and have not covered the spread in any of them. In the four games, they were favored, they have covered. Five of the last 10 Spurs games have gone under, four overs and one push.
The last 5 games between the Spurs and Pelicans
Spurs 112, Pelicans 97
The Spurs broke open a close game in the fourth quarter behind center Jakob Poeltl’s 24 points. Murray had a triple-double for the winners.
Spurs 110, Pelicans 108
DeMar DeRozan (now with the Chicago Bulls) had 32 points and the Pelicans were just 17 of 32 from the free-throw line. Williamson had 33 points in the loss.
Spurs 117, Pelicans 114
The Spurs were missing five players because of COVID, but DeRozan came through with 32 points to overcome 29 from Ingram.
Pelicans 98, Spurs 95
It was the third game of the 2020-2021 season. The Pelicans blocked a potential game-tying three by DeRozan at the buzzer. Williamson had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Spurs 122, Pelicans 113
The Pelicans were eliminated from playoff contention near the end of the 2019-2020 season. DeRozan had 27 points as the Spurs built a 20-point lead and held on.
The play: advise on what to bet
The Spurs are coming off one of their best wins of the season over the Atlanta Hawks Friday night. They may be back in the Western Conference pack, but they aren’t tanking.
The Pelicans were a bit flat in McCollum’s debut against the Miami Heat, but that might be just because the Heat is that good. New Orleans is catching the Spurs at a good time, the second game of a back-to-back.
I like the Pelicans to cover and the under.