The San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans will meet for the third time this season Friday. Will the Spurs finally score a win against New Orleans? Or will the Pelicans stay undefeated versus San Antonio?
Catch this game live on Friday, December 23, at 9 AM, Manila time
Away: San Antonio Spurs (10-20/5-8 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Tre Jones
- SG: Devin Vassell
- SF: Keldon Johnson (doubtful)
- PF: Keita Bates-Diop
- C: Jakob Poeltl (probable)
It has been a whole lot better for the Spurs of late compared to their state from mid-November to early December when they lost 11 games in a row. The Spurs have won four of six games since that horrific stretch, They are coming off a 124-105 victory on the road to the Houston Rockets last Tuesday, so there’s some momentum in the legs of San Antonio, which has also averaged 113.7 points on 50.1 FG% in their last six games.
Those are better numbers than their season digits for those respective statistical areas. The Spurs have already lost twice this season to New Orleans, but those games featured at least one of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. The good news for San Antonio is that neither is going to be on the floor this Friday for a Pelicans squad that has been losing a bunch lately.
The Spurs are 9-3 against the spread in their last 14 games after a victory.
Home: New Orleans Pelicans (18-12/12-4 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: CJ McCollum
- SG: Trey Murphy III
- SF: Herbert Jones
- PF: Naji Marshall
- C: Jonas Valanciunas
Without Ingram and Williamson, the Pelicans will look to snap their losing skid when they welcome the Spurs. Playing a game absent those two players would have been a more heartbreaking scenario for the Pelicans if they were going up against a team that offers more on the court than a squad that is expected to be heavily in play for Victor Wembanyama in 2023.
New Orleans, which is coming off a 128-119 home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks last Tuesday, still has the pieces to punish the lowly Spurs. Jonas Valanciunas can be expected to have a huge game versus the Spurs, who are 29th in the league in points in the paint allowed per game. Valanciunas averaged 21.5 points in 77.3 FG% in the last two showdowns versus the Spurs, who will likely be without Keldon Johnson (back).
The Pelicans are 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 home games versus a team with a losing record on the road.
Spread: The Pelicans (-8) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (226.5) hits the Over.