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Game Preview: Pelicans at Spurs

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

A season best (by 2) win streak of 5 games is on the line tonight in San Antonio. To complicate matters, Anthony Davis will probably sit this one out. If he wasn't able to last even 4 minutes against the Jazz, it's going to take more than 24 hours to get him right.

The Spurs come into the match-up on a 16-game winning streak and most of them have been of the dominant variety. The only saving grace might be that Popovich will rest some of his key players, but lately that hasn't seemed to make things easier for opponents. In the Spurs last back-to-back, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili both sat out the second game; however, San Antonio was still able to walk away with a 99-90 win against the Warriors at the Oracle.

3 things to watch:

  • The coaching. Gregg Popovich is the gold standard and considered the favorite to win the Coach of the Year. His system is a thing of beauty. When one player goes down, another is able to seamlessly fill the void. His rotations, play-calling and general game management are always spot-on. With a number of players sidelined, Monty can't get into that much trouble with rotations, but it'll still be interesting to compare the in-game adjustments of both sidelines. Hope for less discrepancy than usual.
  • Can the Pelicans take anything away? During the last ten games, the Spurs are at or near the top of most statistical categories. They have the top frontcourt, the best bench and the second best backcourt. They have really been clicking outside of the paint area, nearly doubling the efficiency of the second best perimeter team (OKC). To merely keep the game close, the Pelicans are going to have to slow something down, whether by their influence or luck.
  • Tyreke Evans. For his career, he struggles against the Silver and Black: 14.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and an overall offensive rating of 98. Does "starter-Evans" have a chance of even a moderately productive game?