New Orleans Pelicans Host San Antonio Spurs: Open Thread

Published: December 26, 2014

The New Orleans Pelicans, at 14-14, host the San Antonio Spurs and their 18-12 record at the Smoothie King Center tonight. The game tips at just after 7:00 pm CT (UTC -6), and can be seen on Fox Sports New Orleans, heard on the Pelicans radio network.

Both the Spurs and the Pelicans are evidence that the quite true “You are your record” certainly entails looking beyond the empty count of wins and losses to determine just what it is “You are.”

Tonight, the Spurs are a team who lost to the Thunder yesterday and are without Kawhi Leonard (still), Patty Mills (still), and Tony Parker (who played yesterday). They have only one player who has started more than 25 games (Green, 28) and no players who have played more than 900 minutes this season (897 max). Still, they had 4 players with a TS% of at least 0.7 yesterday, none of whom were Parker (Marco Belinelli, Manu Ginobili, Cory Joseph, Tiago Splitter). Note, that still leaves Tim Duncan to legend the Pelicans mercilessly for 30+ minutes.

The Pelicans are still a man down in Eric Gordon, and their wing defense has suffered correspondingly. They’ve also played a hellish schedule, yet have managed to come out well, all things considered. For instance, they are 10-10 in the Western Conference, and some of those Eastern Conference losses have been to good teams (Cavaliers, Wizards, Hawks) with just one loss to a stinker team over there (Pacers).

Tonight, the Pelicans need to match up against in the Spurs well in two areas: rebounding and turnovers. The Pelicans have got to win the battle on their offensive boards, but the Spurs will prove a tough match here. On the Spurs’ offensive end, the Pelicans need to perform well on the glass, but should have an easier task. Beyond that, the Spurs do not force many turnovers but a more lax with the ball when on offense. The Pelicans have got to force the Spurs into empty possessions, which is what these two stats have in common.

They have to do this because the Spurs are very efficient with the possessions that involve shooting. The Pelicans may be able to tamp down their shooting efficiency some, but they need to attack the useful possession count, too.

With the way the Spurs play and Popovich coaches, the back-to-back will likely not matter (just like it didn’t against Portland) in a meaningful way.

Win or lose, the best outcome for Pelicans fans here is a real test, a chance to see just how good the team is against the class of the NBA.


  • How will Davis do when he’s matched against Duncan? (This is a great chance to get a look at just how good Davis is)
  • Without Parker in the game, will Holiday be able to really disrupt the Spurs on the perimeter?
  • Will Jimmer finally break though?


Spurs Stats
Pelicans Stats

New Orleans Watch

Pelicans fans will remember Marco Belinelli from his time with the New Orleans Hornets. He revived his career here, went to Chicago, and has carved out a home and a role with the Spurs.

Beyond this, the Spurs organization and Gregg Popovich have had tremendous influence on key Pelicans personnel, such as Dell Demps and Monty Williams.


Hey, be careful out there. The weather is going to get bad in NOLA at some point according to all predictions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.