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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Pelicans

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The Spurs look to end 2014 on a high note with a win over the Pelicans.

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Pelicans

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
December 31, 2014, 6:00 PM Spurs Time
TV: FSSW, RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

December has been an extremely unkind month to the Spurs this season. They have lost key players to injury, had a harsh schedule, and lost a ton of close games (including 2 triple-overtime games). After all that trouble, it is finally, mercifully, almost over. Before San Antonio can completely shut the door on December, and 2014 as a whole, they have one more game to play versus the New Orleans Pelicans.

This is a SEGABABA for the Spurs; following a rough loss on the road to the Memphis Grizzlies. In that game, Memphis' defense proved too much, making every shot hard for San Antonio, and forcing 16 turnovers. Every time the Spurs tried to make a run, the Grizzlies stepped up and made shots.

Dealing with tough defense will be an issue again versus the Pelicans. Although they aren't the best team defense, New Orleans has individual talent on defense that will surely create trouble for San Antonio. Obviously, the first player to come to mind on New Orleans' defense is Anthony Davis. He has the ability to take over a game on the defensive end, and leads the league in blocks with 3 per game. He changes opponents' offensive game-plans by just camping out in the paint.

Another player to keep watch on is point guard Jrue Holiday. Holiday goes a bit under the radar when considering who the best individual defenders in the league might be, but trust that the talent is there. He has both great agility and strength, allowing him to go step-for-step with offensive players, and making him able ti run through screens better. His hands may be the most impressive part of his defensive make-up though. He has the hand-speed and coordination of a boxer, allowing him to get hands into passing lanes and pilfer the ball from unsuspecting opponents. In last week's game versus the Spurs, he had 2 steals, a couple tipped passes, a rebound snatched away from a big man; he almost blocked a dunk attempt by Aron Baynes, but it was called a foul. And that was all in the first quarter of action.

In that game versus San Antonio, the Pelicans proved to be a tough matchup. There is no doubt that they'll do the same on Wednesday night. They'll scratch and claw their way through the game. It'll be a rough outing for the Spurs, in a month where nothing has been easy. But by the end of the night, it'll be time for the month to come to a close, and hopefully San Antonio's struggles with it. After a month of hardship, there may just be a reset button on the horizon.

@

New Orleans Pelicans (16-15)

San Antonio Spurs (19-14)

December 31, 2014

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

6:00 PM CDT

TV: FSSW

Radio: WOAI 1200AM

Starters

Jrue Holiday

PG

Cory Joseph

Luke Babbitt

SG

Danny Green

Tyreke Evans

SF

Marco Belinelli

Anthony Davis

PF

Tiago Splitter

Omer Asik

C

Tim Duncan


For the Pelicans' perspective, visit The Bird Writes.

Game prediction: Spurs by 7.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and you can get your San Antonio Spurs tickets from Daniel Farias with Spurs Sports & Entertainment: Tel: 210-444-5607 | dfarias@attcenter.com