New Orleans Pelicans to secure final playoff spot with win over San Antonio Spurs
Written by Fairway Jay of North Shore Sports, Inc.
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The defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs ( 55-26 SU, 41-38-2 ) are tied for the Southwest Division lead with Houston and in a three-way tie for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs on the last day of the regular season.
The New Orleans Pelicans ( 44-37 SU, 44-37 ATS ) are tied with Oklahoma City for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, so this game is big for both teams as the regular season concludes on Wednesday night.
New Orleans is 27-13 at home and trying to become the fifth team in the Western Conference Southwest Division to make the playoffs. The Pelicans will be an underdog and a victory over the Spurs sends New Orleans to the playoffs.
The Spurs have won 11-straight games to surge into a tie for first place in the Southwest Division. San Antonio has lost their last two games ATS but were on a 9-0 ATS run prior to those two games. New Orleans beat Golden State on this court back on April 7, and we expect another big effort with so much at stake.
New Orleans wins the tie-breaker with Oklahoma City, so a win and they are in, or a OKC loss at Minnesota and the Pelicans would also make the playoffs.
20 – That’s the number of rebounds Anthony Davis and Omar Asik combine for each game for the Pelicans. They each had 10 rebounds in the win over Golden State and Asik had 18 rebounds in their recent home win over Phoenix.
33.5 – Opponents three-point shooting percentage against New Orleans, as the Pelicans rank No. 2 in the NBA in holding down opponents long-range shooting.
6.2 – Number of block shots per game by New Orleans; No. 1 in the league.
– The Pelicans are 4-0 ATS in their last four games, and the under is 5-1 in their last six home games and 6-1 in their last seven games overall.
– The Spurs are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games following a SU win of more than 10 points, and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning record.
– The Spurs are 1-7 ATS in their last eight trips to New Orleans.
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
Anthony Davis has played like the league MVP much of the season, and with 7-footer Asik, Quincy Pondexter and the return to health of forward Ryan Anderson in April, the Pelicans can battle with the league’s top front lines including the Spurs.
A big boost for New Orleans has also come from Jrue Holiday, who has played in two recent games after being out since January 21 with a stress injury in his leg. He did not play at Minnesota Monday in a back-to-back situation, but he’ll be ready for plenty of action with everything on the line Wednesday for a playoff spot.
The Pelicans beat the Spurs on this court 97-90 on December 26 despite shooting just 41 percent. Spurs center Tiago Splitter missed his fifth straight game on Sunday night with tightness in his right calf and Matt Bonner was also out ( calf ). San Antonio is very deep, and while they are on a 11-0 run and playing for a division title and No. 2 seed, we’ll support the Pelicans at home.
New Orleans 100, San Antonio 98
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