The Dallas Mavericks host the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, seeking their fourth win in a row. On the other side, the Pels are trying to avoid the fourth consecutive loss, as their form dropped severely in the last three home matches. At the moment, these two sides have similar records, Mavs 5-4, and the Pels 4-5, and according to many experts, they will be direct rivals for the playoff position in the Western Conference.
New Orleans (+150) began well, but slowed down, losing three matches at home. All three were tight, against the Pacers 118-116 OT, OKC Thunder 111-110, and the Charlotte Hornets, 118-110. Stan Van Gundy is still getting adjusted to his new team, and vice versa, which is why we see oscillations in Pels’ performances.
Against the Hornets, both starting guards, Lonzo Ball and Eric Bledsoe, were very pale, combining for 13 points, while shooting 5-for-16 from the floor, 3-for-13 from downtown.
As usual, the two best players are Zion and Brandon Ingram. Williamson averages 21.9 points with 8,1 boards and 1.3 steals, while Ingram drops 24 points per night with 7.1 rebounds and 5.8 dimes. Even though the Pelicans have a solidly diversified attack, their defense is bad, enabling the rivals to respond to their scoring runs easily.
Mavericks (-182) bounced back following a slow start, which saw them relying upon Luka Doncic too much. The young Slovenian is superb, but overloading him at this early stage is not a wise thing to do.
Fortunately, the other players of the Mavs’ starting lineup woke up, which was apparent in the previous match against the Magic. Dallas won that one, 112-98. with Tim Hardaway Jr. finally playing at the expected level. The sharpshooting guard was 12-of-20 from the field for 36 points, dropping eight threes in 13 attempts.
Meanwhile, besides him and Doncic, who had a triple-double (20pts, 11rbs, 10 ast), Trey Burke had a superb performance with 29 points, missing just two of his 13 shots from the game, and drilling seven threes in eight attempts. Overall, the Mavs were 20-of-40 for three, and excellent 50%.
Rick Carlisle didn’t count on Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Josh Richardson, who were all out due to COVID-19 protocol.
On the other side, the Pelicans are all ready to face the Mavs.
Maxi Kleber is positive for COVID-19 and previously mentioned three players, Richardson, Brunson, and Finney-Smith, probably won’t play.
Head to Head Matches
Dallas defeated New Orleans in all four games last year.
The Pelicans play a bit reckless basketball, without too much experience in defense, often allowing easy points. It is something Van Gundy constantly underlines since the campaign started. As said previously, they are a well-gifted offensive team but lack some toughness on the defensive side of the basketball.
They are also handing the ball over too much and too easy, which is another minus. Dallas might be overwhelmed with absent players, but having in mind that the season is still young, they shouldn’t have any troubles enduring this match.
Over/Under limit is set at 214 points. If Dallas’ outside line repeats a similar performance as against the Magic, there shouldn’t be any problems with gong above this margin. And knowing the Pelicans’ defense, that shouldn’t be hard to see.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.