In their first meeting of the season, the New Orleans Pelicans emerged victorious, thanks to a 28-point outing from Brandon Ingram. However, the night belonged to Eric Bledsoe, who made the game-winning play down the stretch.
With the clock winding down, DeMar DeRozan rose for a three-point attempt for the win. But Bledsoe blocked his shot, and the New Orleans Pelicans held on for a 98-95 win.
Fixture: New Orleans Pelicans vs San Antonio Spurs Prediction - NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Saturday, February 27th, 2021; 8:00 PM ET. (Sunday; 6:30 AM IST).
Venue: AT&T Center, San Antonio.
New Orleans Pelicans Preview
The New Orleans Pelicans have shown flashes of brilliance this season but continue to be unpredictable on most nights. Stan Van Gundy's side are well below .500 on the season, occupying the 11th spot in the Western Conference standings after making a 14-18 start to the season.
On a brighter note, the partnership between the New Orleans Pelicans' star duo of Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson continues to flourish, as both players are learning to play off each other. Even in the loss to the Bucks in their previous outing, the duo combined for an impressive 57 points between them.
The New Orleans Pelicans could look to bolster their roster ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline, as adding the right pieces could allow them to win games consistently.
Key Player - Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson has provided notice of his potential this season, as the sophomore is flourishing with more playing time.
Williamson is living up to his hype, even getting the nod for a trip to the 2021 All-Star Game as a reserve candidate from the West. He is coming off an All-Star-caliber outing against the Milwaukee Bucks, dropping a massive 34 points while dishing out six assists and collecting eight boards in 37 minutes from the floor.
The New Orleans Pelicans will hope for their budding star to come out with another strong showing against the San Antonio Spurs. In 31 games this season, Williamson is averaging 25.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists on a whopping 61.8% accuracy from the field.
New Orleans Pelicans Predicted Lineup
G Lonzo Ball, G Eric Bledsoe, F Brandon Ingram, F Zion Williamson, C Steven Adams.
San Antonio Spurs Preview
The San Antonio Spurs can't catch a break this season. Off to a slow start to the campaign, they had just begun to hit their stride before the league's COVID-19 protocols slowed them down once again. Now, even after getting the green light from the league, Popovich's side continue to face a player shortage that could affect their standing in the West.
On their return to action, the San Antonio Spurs lost to the OKC Thunder 99-102. With most of their stars unavailable, the team relied heavily on Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills, who combined for 42 points on the night.
Popovich will have to get creative with his team composition against the New Orleans Pelicans, as he will once again be without several key players who remain out due to the league's COVID-19 protocols. Devin Vassell, Derrick White, Rudy Gay, Keldon Johnson and Quinndary Weatherspoon have been ruled out for the said game.
San Antonio Spurs’ star DeMar DeRozan, who missed the last game due to personal reasons, could return to floor duties against the New Orleans Pelicans, though.
Key Player - Patty Mills
Patty Mills is one of the longest-serving veterans on the San Antonio Spurs roster. He has become a fan favorite over the years, thanks to his resilience and all-around playmaking prowess.
The 32-year-old is having a career season for the Spurs as he continues to light a spark off the bench. However, Mills made a mistake in the loss to the Thunder, as he double dribbled late in the game, which presented Luguentz Dort to make a game-winning shot. Mills will look to redeem himself and come out with a purpose against the New Orleans Pelicans.
In 28 games this season, he is averaging 13.3 points on 45% shooting from the field.
San Antonio Spurs Predicted Lineup
G Dejounte Murray, G Patty Mills, F Lonnie Walker, F Trey Lyles, C Jakob Poeltl.
Pelicans vs Spurs Match Prediction
On paper, the New Orleans Pelicans appear to have a slight edge, as the San Antonio Spurs will be severely depleted for this matchup.
However, Popovich's side can be counted out at one's own peril. The San Antonio Spurs will hope to see DeMar DeRozan suit up for this game. He has been the driving force behind his team, occupying the sixth spot in the Western Conference standings.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Pelicans will hope for their star duo to come to the fore. Brandon Ingram and Williamson could explode for a monster outing and inspire the New Orleans Pelicans to a resounding win on the night.
Where to watch Pelicans vs Spurs?
The game between the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs will be telecast on Fox Sports Southwest (San Antonio) and Fox Sports New Orleans. The match can also be streamed live on the NBA League Pass.