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New Orleans Pelicans vs San Antonio Spurs: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

Written by: Christian Jope
Updated October 14, 2022
6 min read

How to Watch

Where: AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX

When: Saturday, February 2nd at 8:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports Southwest – San Antonio, Fox Sports New Orleans | WRNO 99.5FM, WOAI 1200AM.

New Orleans Pelicans (Away)

Head Coach: Alvin Gentry {All-Time 470-532 | MIA, DET, LAC, PHX, NOP}

The New Orleans Pelicans aren’t far off from competing at this point in the year. Despite the transfer drama, the Pelicans are 23-29. Unfortunately for the Pelicans the competitive Western Conference leaves them thirteenth in the table.

Over their last ten matches, the New Orleans Pelicans have put together a losing record. Going 3-7 in their last ten the Pelicans oddly maintain a +1.4 win percentage. Their odd record is due to the sheer quality of their team, combined with the overall lack of execution.

The Pelicans will have to overcome their internal issues when they take on the San Antonio Spurs. They have been missing four of their five starting players in the midst of injuries and transfer drama. The reserves will have to start showing their ability for the future, as well as for when they take on the steady Spurs.

San Antonio Spurs (Home)

Head Coach: Gregg Popovich {All-Time 1227-563 | SAS}

The San Antonio Spurs have taken a small dip as of late. Due to the injury to Demar Derozan, they have lost their primary playmaker. With a record of 30-22 the Spurs are in sixth place but are being closely trailed by the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers.

In their last ten matches the San Antonio Spurs are 6-4 with a point differential of 2.5 When the Spurs take on the Pelicans, it will be a precursor to an intense eight-game road trip. They will be aggressively pursuing a win, in hopes of starting their road trip on a positive note.

The New Orleans Pelicans are a weakened team but not lacking their own threats. Jahlil Okafor has come on as of late for the Pelicans and the young reserve squad has been supporting him fully. The Spurs don’t have many assets to defend a centre of his quality, so it will have to be a team effort to contain him.

What’s At Stake?

The San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans have a rather young rivalry. Over 23 all-time matches, the Spurs lead the all-time series 14-9.

The New Orleans Pelicans would stay in place (13th) with a win or a loss.

A win for the Spurs would help stave off the Utah Jazz, who are a single game back from them in the Western Conference standings.

Questions to answer

Who is left to lead the Pelicans?

Is Lonnie Walker ready for a bigger role?

We are going to compare the New Orleans Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Future is Bleak Without Davis

The nightmare of New Orleans Pelicans fans around the world has come to pass. Anthony Davis has requested a transfer request, while the New Orleans front office are willing to let any valuable asset go for the right price.

The question is, who will lead the Pelicans now? All signs point to point guard Jrue Holiday, a talented scorer and playmaker with the heart to compete against any opponent. Surprisingly young Jahlil Okafor, has come forward for to be the next star for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Okafor is reminding people why he was third overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. Not only a beast on the inside, Okafor is battling on the boards against some of the best in the league. He is not enough to make up for Anthony Davis, but the Pelicans will surely be happy to see one of their young assets is looking to occupy the vacancy left by Anthony Davis.

Lonnie Walker is Finally Being Shown to the World

Lonnie Walker had a difficult start to his rookie campaign. After competing in the NBA Summer League, Walker suffered a torn meniscus that threatened his young career. Eight months later Walker is back on the court and Popovich has shown some faith in the young man.

With the injury to Demar Derozan, it was natural that Lonnie Walker would step up in place of him. In fifteen minutes against the Pelicans, Walker posted seven points on 50% shooting from the field. He was also able to contribute five rebounds in a the Spurs winning effort, to an overall +/- of 5.4.

Replacing Demar Derozan for any amount of time is a large task for any player, let alone a young rookie fresh off of injury recovery. But in a few short stints Walker has shown Spurs fans why he was so coveted by Popovich in the offseason. His work rate is fantastic, if his skills can reach that standard the Spurs will have a backcourt to be reckoned with.

New Orleans Pelicans Roster Notes

F-C Anthony Davis – 19 Jan 2019 – Out (Left Index Finger) – Davis will miss the next one-to-two weeks after spraining his left index finger during Friday’s (Jan 18) game.

F Nikola Mitotic – 25 Jan 2019 – Out (Right Calf Strain) – The Pelicans announced that Mirotic is dealing with a right calf strain and will be re-evaluated in one week.

G E’Twaun Moore – 28 Jan 2019 – Day To Day (Rest) – Moore was listed as OUT for Tuesday’s (Jan 29) game against the Rockets.

G Elfrid Payton – 29 Jan 2019 – Day To Day (Ankle) – Payton was OUT for Tuesday’s (Jan 29) game.

F Julius Randle – 29 Jan 2019 – Day To Day (Ankle) – Randle has been ruled OUT for Tuesday’s (Jan 29) game at the Rockets.

San Antonio Spurs Roster Notes

G Demar Derozan – 28 Jan 2019 – Day To Day (Knee/Ankle) – DeRozan has been ruled OUT for Tuesday’s (Jan 28) game.

G Dejounte Murray – 6 Dec 2018 – Out For Season (Knee) – After having successful surgery to repair his torn ACL, Murray is currently rehabbing with the hope of being ready for the 2019-2020 season.

Head-to-Head: Jahlil Okafor vs LaMarcus Aldridge

Jahlil Okafor

Center | 6-11, 275lb (211cm, 124kg) | Duke | Exp. 4 Years

7.2 PPG | 0.4 APG | 4.3 RPG | 0.2 SPG | 0.6 BPG | 0.7 TOV | .596 FG% | .000 3P%

LaMarcus Aldridge

Center | 6-11, 260lb (211cm, 117kg) | Texas | Exp. 13 Years

21.1 PPG | 2.6 APG | 8.8 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 1.2 BPG | 1.9 TOV | .516 FG% | .211 3P%

When the Pelicans and Spurs face off, both teams will be missing their biggest stars. Both Demar Derozan and Anthony Davis are sitting out with injury. For the Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge regains his role as the primary option. For the Pelicans, Jahlil Okafor has undergone a short-term career resurgence since Davis went down.

Since Anthony Davis went down with injury and put in a trade request, Jahlil Okafor has seized his opportunity. In the past five matches, Okafor has logged more then 25 minutes in each while posting more than 17 points on greater than 62% shooting in each. With each passing game Okafor is looking like a new franchise corner piece for the Pelicans.

LaMarcus Aldridge regains his role as the number one option for the San Antonio Spurs now that Demar Derozan has been sidelined with injury. Aldridge has been terrific this season, even posting a career high 56 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now that Derozan is out of the lineup, Aldridge will be playing low-post scorer and high-post playmaker for the Spurs. The Pelicans, will likely have difficulty adapting to his versatility.

New Orleans Pelicans at San Antonio Spurs Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the San Antonio Spurs favoured over the New Orleans Pelicans by 10.5, with an over/under of 110.

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Christian Jope

1484 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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