New Orleans Pelicans: 3 storylines to watch against the San Antonio Spurs

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans grabs a rebound (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans grabs a rebound (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram
DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs drives the ball around Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

After a close loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the New Orleans Pelicans will take on the San Antonio Spurs at the Smoothie King Center to close out their February.

This will be the second encounter between San Antonio and New Orleans of the season. Both teams were originally set to play in late January, but the game was postponed a few hours before the scheduled tipoff due to ongoing contact tracing. At that point, it was the Spurs’ first postponement of the year and the Pels’ second.

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In a season—and world—marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, this was no surprise. NBA organizations have to adjust on the fly as new cases pop up around a league that is no longer secluded to the outside world by a luxurious Disney bubble.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Spurs: Two teams fighting for a spot

The Pelicans are coming off a 125-129 loss to the Bucks that could have potentially gone to overtime had the last moments of the game gone New Orleans’ way. The Pels did well to battle last year’s top team in the Eastern Conference, but it might have felt like a winnable game for head coach Stan Van Gundy given the Bucks’ poor defensive performance throughout the night and the absence of a couple key players.

Meanwhile, the Spurs enter Saturday night’s game having lost their last game to the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was a heartbreaking defeat for Gregg Popovich’s men courtesy of a buzzer-beating three from Luguentz Dort.

The Spurs are currently fifth in the west, six slots above the Pels. Despite not having a roster stacked with flashy names, they are a well-coached, youthful team to watch with a renewed onus on developing the hoards of up-and-comers they have accumulated in the past few drafts.

Yet, San Antonio is still one of the few remaining bastions of more traditional basketball in the NBA. They don’t shoot a lot from the outside and rank among the bottom ten in scoring. The Spurs are also in the bottom five for three-point attempts in the NBA, which bodes well for a Pels team that has struggled to defend beyond the arc.

This game should serve as a good challenge for the Pels and hopefully a fun viewing experience.