So...this probably isn't going to go well. I hate sounding so sure of an outcome that has yet to be played, but doesn't this feel like a #BEATEMDOWN is on the horizon?
The New Orleans Pelicans are attempting to stop the bleeding tonight and pick up win number two of 2015-16. In the opposing corner are the San Antonio Spurs- the longtime bully of the Southwest Division's block. In preparing for this preview I found this gem of a statistic from Elias: the Spurs have more losses (two) than the Pelicans do wins (one). How's that for #FactsOnly?
After getting the band back together for one more run, the Spurs brought in LaMarcus Aldridge because they're just a better run franchise than everyone else and it made perfect sense for Aldridge to inherit the throne from Tim Duncan. The two are combing for 25 points, 18 rebounds and 3 blocks this season. And when you add in Kawhi Leonard's 21 and 8 you get the best frontcourt in the entire league. Fortunately for New Orleans Omer Asik and Anthony Davis are both listed as questionable, which is good because it's not like they'd need their help trying to go up against San Antonio's bigs.
If it weren't for the Golden State Warriors, the Spurs would have the best record in all of basketball and it's because they do just about every single thing related to basketball well. They're "only" 10th in points scored, fifth in rebounding (boy remember having healthy big men that could gobble up rebounds? Those were the days I tell ya), second in assists (hey remember having a healthy point guard that could play more than 20 minutes a game every other night? Good times, good times) and first in points allowed.
This isn't a good matchup for New Orleans and it'll only be worse if the Pelicans don't get Omer Asik and Anthony Davis back tonight. I understand that New Orleans was an accidental Asik tip-in from sweeping the Spurs last season but the Pelican team that beat the Spurs three out of four times, including that last game of the regular season, doesn't resemble the current ensemble in any way.
Keys to Victory
1. Road Woes- San Antonio's been a tad vulnerable on the road. I use that term loosely of course because "only" being 4-2 on the road is still infinitely better than the Pelicans' 0-7 road record. But the fact remains that San Antonio doesn't play as crisply as they do at the AT&T Center. Their three point shooting and rebounding numbers drop and their turnovers increase. Maybe we luck out and get the scrubs because Pop just doesn't give a damn tonight?
2. Effort- it's a cliche but this is the best New Orleans can hope for. The sparse healthy Pelicans played their hearts out against Oklahoma City. Who knows, maybe combing an effort like that with playing at home can lead to the upset of the season.
3. Divine Intervention- I really like New Orleans' chances if like a meteor hits San Antonio's bus and then they all got the Walking Dead virus afterward. Aside from that...I mean...