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NBA Preview: Anthony Davis and LaMarcus Aldridge matchup headlines Pelicans vs Spurs clash

The game is likely to be decided between these two team leaders.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Pelicans Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans (34-26) will put their season-high six-game winning streak on the line Wednesday evening as they face the San Antonio Spurs (36-25) inside the AT&T Center. The game is set to tip-off at 7:30 and can be viewed on Fox Sports New Orleans or heard on WRNO 99.5 FM.

These teams last met before Thanksgiving, with New Orleans winning in convincing fashion, 107-90. San Antonio couldn’t buy a basket as they shot under 40% from the floor and 25% from three-point range. Don’t expect similar struggles this time round because the Spurs are big fans of home cooking, knocking down shots with much greater regularity in their backyard than on the road.

Although they’ve sat in the top half of the playoff draw all season, the Spurs are having an off-year by their standards. They’re not expected to reach the 50-win plateau for the first time since before the turn of the millennium, yet sitting 11 games over .500 is an impressive feat considering Kawhi Leonard has appeared in a mere nine games. There’s a reason Head Coach Gregg Popovich is widely regarded as the best in the business.

In case you missed it, Leonard is now expected to return before the end of the season, but he will not be available against the Pelicans. Interestingly, Pau Gasol may also miss Wednesday’s contest as he’s listed as questionable with a bone bruise in his left knee. If he is out, then a lot of responsibility falls on LaMarcus Aldridge so hence...

Key to the Game

Anthony Davis vs LaMarcus Aldridge

There’s no one more devastating in the league than Davis right now. He’s topped the 40-point mark five times this month, including Monday’s 53-point gem, but he’s left his prints all over the court. Check out these averages over the last six games.

  • 41.5 points
  • 15.0 rebounds
  • 2.0 assists
  • 3.2 steals
  • 3.2 blocks

Despite a high 34.2% usage, Davis has turned the ball over just twice a game and is shooting 54.2% from the field and 82.2% from the free throw line — No wonder everyone has been talking about his MVP odds over the last week.

Standing opposite AD will be Aldridge — easily the Spurs best weapon with Leonard sidelined. LaMarcus is enjoying a renaissance himself, averaging 22.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks, but he’s been even better here in February. Since the All-Star break, he scored 38 points in a tough loss to the Nuggets but tallied 27 points in a big win over the Cavaliers.

The best part about Davis and Aldridge attempting to post big numbers will be the fact that they’re likely to guard one another for most of the game. Mano a mano. This should be extra special because not only have they each taken turns getting the better of the other in the past but that they’re both entering the matchup red hot.

Geaux Pels!

What: New Orleans Pelicans at San Antonio Spurs

Where: AT&T Center

When: February 28, 2018, 7:30 p.m. Central