The Spurs are playing with house money
I'm not going into Wednesday's game with the expectation of a loss. In reality, I feel like these teams would probably split 5-5 if they played 10 games as currently constructed. I do feel that New Orleans has a slight edge when you consider their star power and homecourt advantage, however.
Frankly, the Pelicans also need this win much more than the Spurs do in the grand scheme. They went all-in for immediate success when they made the move for CJ McCollum, and he attested to that himself on his podcast.
"What it means for myself and this franchise, giving us a chance to potentially make the playoffs is extremely important and was the goal when I first was traded to New Orleans. Now we're here."
If the guys in Silver and Black pull off a road win, it would be tremendous for their development, but the future of this organization is bright either way. Win or lose, Coach Popovich will probably gather the guys together for dinner, share some wine with those old enough to drink, and prepare for the next day.
Remember, the Spurs were projected to win just 28.5 games this season, which we all knew was laughable at the time. Still, most fans were realistic about this team's chances to go any further than the Play-In Tournament -- they weren't great.
A win means the guys get yet another chance in the national spotlight to show what they're made of. A loss means they're virtually guaranteed a top 10 NBA Draft pick to go along with their trove of other assets and cap space going forward.
Cheer, yell, and drink as needed to cope with your nervous energy during the game. That's what I'll be doing. But just remember, this year was always supposed to be just the beginning of a new era.
Whether it's Friday or much later, the Silver and Black will be back.