Parker probable, Leonard questionable for Spurs vs. Pelicans
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Tonight’s matchup between the San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans isn’t really a fair one.
The Spurs have had an outstanding season so far, with only nine losses to their 36 wins. Team leader Kawhi Leonard consistently finishes games with 20 or more points. He’s one of the best players in the league. The Spurs have made the playoffs 18 consecutive seasons and are five-time world champions. Since 1997, they’ve won at least 50 games every season except one (due to a lockout).
The Pelicans, on the other hand… Well, they’re 18-28 on the season. Their star player, forward Anthony Davis, has been plagued by a series of medical issues this season. He sat out Monday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers and played just half of Wednesday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The all-star is officially listed as probable for tonight’s game, but even if he plays, he’s been struggling since an injury to his thigh on Jan. 20. His points-per-game average has shrunk almost 12 points, from 28.1 overall to 16.8 over his last four starts.
“It’s not good,” said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry. “It’s tough. He wants to be out there, and he’s trying to be out there. It would be easy just to sit out, but I think he’s doing everything he can to be out there. If he’s hurt, then he’s hurt. But the fact that he starts the game and tries to see if he can play through it is all you can ask a player to do.”
The Spurs, meanwhile, have won five straight even short-handed. Tony Parker’s missed the past four games with a sprained foot but is listed as probable tonight. Pau Gasol is definitely still out, for the next four to six weeks. Leonard has been out the past two games with a sore hand and is questionable for tonight’s matchup. Even if he doesn’t play, though, the Spurs still have LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s always ready to put up solid numbers.
If Anthony Davis sits this one out, it’ll be a long night for the Pelicans. If he plays… Well, it’ll still probably be a fairly long night for the Pelicans. There’s just that much of a talent gap between the two teams.