Spurs vs Pelicans Preview: San Antonio Should Be Thankful to Be Back Home

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San Antonio should be thankful to be back home for Spurs vs Pelicans
SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 17: The San Antonio Spurs huddle up during the game against the Sacramento Kings on November 17, 2022 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images - https://www.nba.com/spurs/photos/photos-spurs-at-kings-11-17?slide=12&slide=12)

After a winless trip out West last week, the San Antonio Spurs are back in the Alamo City for the Thanksgiving holiday and hungry for a win. With a three-game homestretch from Wednesday night to Sunday, the first course up for the Spurs (6-12) is the New Orleans Pelicans (10-7) who have momentum, winning six of their last 10. They are coming off a 128-83 thrashing of the B-Team version Golden State Warriors on Monday night in the Big Easy.

How to Watch the Spurs vs Pelicans Game

  • When: Wednesday, November 23, 2022
  • Start Time: 7 p.m. CT
  • Location: AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas
  • TV: Bally Sports Southwest – San Antonio
  • Radio: 1200 AM WOAI / 1350 AM KXTN (Español)

Game Odds

  • Moneyline: Pelicans (-280)  |  Spurs (+235)
  • Spread: Pelicans -7.5 (-110)
  • Over/Under: 230 (-110)

Spurs vs Pelicans Injury Report

San Antonio has a bevy of players on the injury report heading into the midweek contest, despite some positive updates on a pair of guys making progress in their recoveries. Zach Collins is listed as “probable”, a good sign after a non-displaced head fracture to his fibula caused him to miss most of November. Blake Wesley, returning from an MCL sprain, is still out, but seems to be on his way back. With Jakob Poeltl (questionable) and Josh Richardson (doubtful) uncertain to play as they deal with joint soreness, the Spurs will be missing key elements of their veteran leadership. Dominick Barlow and Malaki Branham are both down with the G League Austin Spurs.

Contrary to the Spurs, the Pelicans are rather healthy for Wednesday’s game, as only EJ Liddell (out) and Trey Murphy III (doubtful) have injuries. Liddell has yet to take the court in his rookie season after tearing his ACL this summer. New Orleans also has Kira Lewis Jr. and Dereon Seaborn down with their G League affiliate Birmingham Squadron. Coincidentally, the Spurs and Squadron play a back-to-back series this weekend. Of the players missing the game, only Murphy, a key bench player, has seen considerable minutes.

Spurs vs Pelicans Preview

Pelicans

Last spring, the Spurs and the Pelicans met in the play-in game for the chance to advance to the NBA Playoffs. New Orleans won the matchup despite being without their star Zion Williamson, though San Antonio made it interesting. Still, it was apparent then that the two organizations were heading in different directions. The Pelicans continued to make noise in the postseason, even giving the Warriors a run for their money. That performance established greater expectations for this season and the early verdict is promising.

New Orleans has a fantastic trio of complimentary players in Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and last season’s trade acquisition, CJ McCollum. All three stars can take over at any time and they do. They each are in the top three on the team in points per game and assists, giving the offense a lot of fluidity. Alongside Williamson and Ingram, the Pelicans are a very lengthy team and run their scoring inside-out with Larry Nance Jr. and Jonas Valanciunas working within the arc, especially in the paint. Like the Spurs, more than 46 percent of their points come from down low.

Spurs

The size of New Orleans is going to present an issue for San Antonio, especially if Poeltl and Collins aren’t available for the game. Back at their home court, the familiarity with the angles and backgrounds could help the team counter the size with perimeter shooting. Though they are just 3-5 at the AT&T Center this season, their three-point percentages have been much better at home recently than on the road if still lower than during their early winning stretch.

Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson will surely be expected to shoulder the majority of the scoring load, but they need to be cautioned against trying too hard to create their own shot. Ball movement is the key to the Spurs’ offense and has been a key factor in their wins this season. The Spurs are 3-4 when they record 30+ assists as a team, and 3-8 when they don’t.

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