Game On: Spurs @ Pelicans

Published: April 15, 2015

Most of the time when I break out one of these game previews, an opponent has a few glaring issues that the Pelicans could attack in particular –  A team that can’t protect the boards that can be eaten by the Pelican’s glass dominance, or a team that relies on turnovers for cheap points can be matched by the Pelicans good ball control.

This matchup is a bit different however.  These two teams will be pitting strength against strength.  Whichever one flags will lose.

Keys to the Game

  • Win on the offensive glass.  The Spurs are mangificent at contesting shots and cleaning up on the defensive glass.  The Pelicans live by getting to the rim – and even if they miss that first shot, having someone clean it up.  If the Pels can keep their offensive rebound rate closer to their season average, the Spurs defense will crack.
  • Don’t put Eric Gordon into the Pick and Roll.  The Spurs will put Parker on Gordon, esentially begging the Pelicans to make Gordon into the attack guard.  Don’t do it.  Gordon is awful, awful off the dribble.  Post up Davis, use Gordon to set high screens in the hope of getting a switch for Evans on Parker or a set, perimeter shot for Gordon.  Just don’t let them bait Gordon into deciding things off the dribble.
  • Switch all pick and rolls.  Ginobili and Parker are still a handful scoring on the pick and roll, but just switch and make them score to win this game.  If the Pels try to hedge and rotate in those situations, the perimeter rotation will inevitably break down (it always does with this team) and an open three pointer will ensue.  The Spurs will murder you that way.  Try to avoid it.

Show up for the game, my friends.  Scream your damn fool heads off.


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