New Orleans Pelicans v Dallas Mavericks

Tonight, the New Orleans Pelicans (11-22) on (I hate) the Dallas Mavericks (20-15) at the Smoothie King Center. This is the second of the away-home pair to close the season series, which is 2-1 at the moment, in favor of the Pelicans. The game is at 7:00 pm CT (UTC -6) and is on Fox Sports New Orleans and the Pelicans Radio Network, 99.5 FM locally.

Despite several indication from the team that changes are coming, Quincy Pondexter remains inactive, though he was Questionable leading up to this game, the first status he’s had this season other than Out. The starting lineup remains Asik, Davis, Evans, Gee, and Gordon.

Deron Williams, Dirk Nowitzki, Zaza Pachulia, and Wesley Matthews are all out for rest, presumable because their game last night went to double overtime. Parsons seems like he’ll play.

Here is what I said for the Pelicans most recent game, which was also their most recent outing against the Mavericks:

Dallas is an pretty unbelievably average team. They really aren’t extreme in many ways, either on offense or defense, though they offense is slightly better than their defense. They shoot three’s more often than the average team, but they make them at a little less than the typical rate. And so it goes, except for turnovers; the Mavericks protect the ball very well on offense. Not sure that helps.

As such, there are no obvious soft spots to attack for the Pelicans, which means the Pelicans have to do their own thing and do it well. That means dictating the pace. That doesn’t mean “run run run.” That means moving the ball, getting into the offense, resetting when necessary, taking the first acceptable shot and getting back on defense. It’s more about dictating than pace.

This is essentially an average team, and, as such, is a good test for the Pelicans to measure their progress.

All that said, Davis is by far the best player in this game. If the team can feed him correctly, the Pelicans should win. “Correctly” is the key word here. In recent games, execution has been poor, and it’s been worse in critical situations.

Watch the fundamentals tonight, and if you see a lapse, ask yourself: “How old is a player when they are supposed to learn this?”

So, with all the Dallas players resting, they leave salary, experience, and talent on the bench. They gain some some surprise and hunger. However, Dallas should be a below average team with their available players, and the Pelicans have a chance to win handily. If they do, nothing to be excited about. If they do not, ask yourself, “Why?” Remember the most recent game against Dallas when you ask.

One response to “New Orleans Pelicans v Dallas Mavericks”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.