There’s an interesting duel in the Southwest Division on Saturday, March 26. The New Orleans Pelicans (31-42) who are sitting in the #3 position, are playing the San Antonio Spurs (29-44), the team that’s just behind in the divisional standings.
With just nine games left for these teams to play before the end of the regular season of the 2021-22 NBA, Saturday’s clash could be crucial. If the Pelicans win in front of their fans at Smoothie King Center, they will make one giant leap toward securing the #3 position in the Southwest, which is the last spot that leads to the postseason.
If the Spurs beat them for the seventh time in this decade, the playoff race will get much more intense. So, can Gregg Popovich and his boys do it? Keep on reading to find out!
Where and When to Watch
- Date: Saturday, March 26
- Time: 5:00 PM EDT
- Location: Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA
- Watch: NBA League Pass
Spurs Coming Off Two Impressive Wins
The Spurs are coming to Big Easy after winning two games on the road. First, they defeated the Golden State Warriors 110-108 at Chase Center despite being a 7-point pre-game underdog. Then, they obliterated the Portland Trail Blazers 133-96 at Moda Center. Popovich’s team was the betting favorite, but bookmakers did not think we’ll see them win by 37 points.
After traveling across the West Coast, the Spurs are coming to Southern US. Their next stop is Smoothie King Center, which is the place where they won four of their previous five games with the Pelicans.
What should worry them ahead of Sunday’s game is that the last time they played against this opponent, they lost. It happened relatively recently, on March 18, when the Pelicans destroyed them 124-91 at AT&T Center in San Antonio.
Pelicans Hoping to Return to the NBA Playoffs After 4 Years
Even though they’ve been having serious problems with injuries throughout the season, the Pelicans still have a decent chance to get to the playoffs. In fact, they’re currently sitting in a spot that leads to the first round of the playoffs, with two wins more than the Spurs.
Zion Williamson, who’s one of their biggest stars, hasn’t played a single game this season due to a foot injury. Further, Brandon Ingram, who won the Most Improved Player award two years ago, has also been sidelined for weeks. In fact, he’s been out since March 8.
With a 22.8 PPG, Ingram is surely going to be missed against the Spurs. Still, he was out in their previous duel as well, but his team still managed to put away 124 points that evening. C.J. McCollum was their top scorer in that game with 20 points, while five other players recorded double figures.
Spurs vs Pelicans Prediction
For both teams, this is a super-important game. Still, the Spurs will probably be even more motivated as a win would bring them back in the playoff race. Plus, they really need to take advantage of the fact that the Pelicans are without a couple of their key men.
Picks: San Antonio Spurs to win