Preview: San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Pelicans – Game #3

The San Antonio Spurs will look to win their third straight game to begin the season when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night. The Spurs have started their season with impressive victories over the Memphis Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors.

In both games, the Spurs trailed in the first quarter before rallying back. Against the Grizzlies, it was a balanced effort in which nearly every player performed well. Against the Raptors, DeMar DeRozan, Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills were the notable standouts. DeRozan had 27 points, eight assists and five rebounds, Murray had a triple double with 11 points, ten assists and ten rebounds, and Mills poured in 21 points on 8-for-9 shooting from the field, including 5-for-6 from three-point territory.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

In the first two games, the Spurs have started Murray and DeRozan alongside LaMarcus Aldridge, Lonnie Walker IV and Keldon Johnson. Against the Pelicans, that could change due to New Orleans size. With a front court that featues Steven Adams and Zion Williamson, the Spurs could opt to go big by inserted Jakob Poeltl or Trey Lyles into the starting lineup. Going with Rudy Gay would also be a possibility, although his presence wouldn’t add much size.

Then again, head coach Gregg Popovich may think twice before messing with a starting lineup that has San Antonio sitting at 2-0.

New Orleans Pelicans Starting Lineup

Alongside Williams and Adams, the Pelicans have started Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Eric Bledsoe. If the Spurs keep their same starting lineup, the matchup to watch would be Keldon Johnson versus Zion Williamson. While Johnson is really strong, dealing with Williamson’s size, bulk and athleticism would be a definite challenge.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Derrick White and Quinndary Weatherspoon are both expected to be sidelined once again for the Spurs. Neither guard has been able to suit up so far this season.

The good news, however, is that White appears to be near a return. Popovich stated that White hasn’t experienced a setback in his recovery from toe surgery. While no timeline was given, considering he is back participating in drills on the court, it’s likely that he should be able to return to action in the next week or two.

Spurs at Pelicans – How the Spurs Can Win

Being able to slow down Williamson will be key. In previous matchups, Popovich has opted to use Poeltl on Williamson — with a surprising amount of success. That could, once again, be an alignment the Spurs try to use to slow down the second-year dynamo out of Duke.