Preview: San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Pelicans – Game #19

Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the San Antonio Spurs (3-15) will try to break their 13-game losing streak. After playing at home versus the Atlanta Hawks last night, the Spurs travel to take on the New Orleans Pelicans (10-9) this evening. 

While San Antonio is struggling, New Orleans has been playing their best basketball as of late. The Pelicans have won four of their last six games and six of their previous nine contests. In their latest game, Zion Williamson led the way with 33 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals. Amazingly, he was 11-for-12 from the floor and 11-for-12 from the free throw line.

The Spurs are coming off of a 137-135 loss to the Hawks in which Jeremy Sochan scored a career-high 33 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists. San Antonio had it going on the offensive end of the court but their defense wasn’t good enough to get the win (see the Grades).

Victor Wembanyama Injury Update

For the first time this season, Victor Wembanyama will miss a game. This isn’t a surprising turn of events because the rookie was questionable with hip soreness going into the game versus the Hawks. The Spurs sitting Wembanyama on a back-to-back when he’s not completely healthy is likely the smartest course of action.

After the game against the Pelicans, the Spurs don’t play again until next Wednesday. Hopefully that is long enough for Wembanyama’s hip to heal.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Unfortunately, Victor Wembanyama isn’t the only Spurs player sitting out in New Orleans. Doug McDermott will miss the game due to an illness. McDermott also didn’t play against the Hawks.

Keldon Johnson has right hip tightness but he’s probable for the Pelicans contest. Versus Atlanta, Johnson had 22 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

We can safely say that head coach Gregg Popovich will start Jeremy Sochan at point guard and Zach Collins at center. If Keldon Johnson is healthy enough to play, he’ll start at small forward. At shooting guard, Popovich has been starting Malaki Branham and has brought Devin Vassell off the bench due to him being on a minutes restriction. That will probably continue for another night.

Who will replace Victor Wembanyama in the starting lineup? The most likely choices are Julian Champagnie and Cedi Osman. If Pop wants to go bigger, even Sandro Mamukelashvili has a chance of filling that spot in the starting five.

Betting Guide: Spurs at Pelicans

The Pelicans are big-time favorites tonight. Prognosticators predict New Orleans to win by 13.5 points and have set the over/under at 237 points. The safest bet tonight is to take the under. With Victor Wembanyama out and the Spurs playing on a back-to-back, they very well could have trouble putting points on the board.