Game Preview: Pelicans vs. Spurs - January 13, 2014
Call it “Texas Week” for the New Orleans Pelicans.
After a weekend two-game series against the Dallas Mavericks, the Pelicans host the San Antonio Spurs on Monday evening, in another Southwest Division matchup. The Lone Star State theme will continue for New Orleans on Wednesday, when the Houston Rockets pay a visit to the Crescent City.
Among Texas’ three NBA franchises, the Spurs have been the most successful by a fairly significant margin, winning four league championships since 1999. They nearly added a fifth last season, but lost a gut-wrenching, seven-game NBA Finals series to the Miami Heat. Meanwhile, Houston has two NBA titles (1994, 1995). Dallas’ lone crown came in 2011.
San Antonio leads New Orleans 1-0 in this season’s head-to-head series, posting a dominating 112-93 victory on its home floor Nov. 25. The Spurs charged out of the gate with a big first half, resulting in a 57-40 intermission advantage. The lead eventually ballooned to as many as 32 points. One of the NBA’s deepest teams, the Spurs put seven players in double-digit scoring, led by Manu Ginobili’s 16 points.
New Orleans must start much more quickly this time vs. San Antonio in order to have a chance to defeat the division-leading Spurs. Ryan Anderson led the Pelicans in the Nov. 25 meeting with 17 points, but he is sidelined indefinitely by a herniated disc. With Anderson in uniform, the Pelicans still only shot 38.1 percent from the field Nov. 25, en route to one of their most one-sided losses of 2013-14.
New Orleans and San Antonio are scheduled to play twice more in their annual four-game series. The Spurs are back in the Big Easy in exactly three weeks on Feb. 3, one night after the Super Bowl. The Pelicans and Spurs wrap up their head-to-head competition March 29 in the Alamo City.