The Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans are scheduled to tangle in New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center. Both teams are on a back-to-back after losses on Friday night. The Mavericks looked disinterested at home against the Indiana Pacers in a 109-94 loss, while the Pelicans lost at tight one by five points against the Denver Nuggets, 113-108. Key players were absent for the Mavericks and Pelicans.
Luka Doncic was not playing because of back tightness, while Lonzo Ball was unable to go with a hip flexor strain. Ball has been on the shelf for the last three games. The expectation was for Ball to be traded, and for that matter, Kyle Lowry was expected to be on a new team at this point as well. Neither ended up going anywhere.
The Pelicans had a couple of big wins without Lonzo on the floor against the Nuggets, 113-108, and then over the Lakers, 128-111. Without Lebron James and Anthony Davis on the court, the Lakers are a vastly different team. Having said that, scoring 128 points on the Lakers is never easy and it was a nice win for the Pelicans.
The Pelicans have taken positive strides in the right direction this season. They’re getting there, but not quite there yet. If you’re a Pelicans’ fan, the future does look bright in New Orleans with this young core. Zion Williamson had a big night last night, as he scored 39 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. That’s a career-high for Zion, which I’m sure he will break at some point in the next year.
It wasn’t enough for the Pelicans, though, as the Nuggets were on the winning side of a 113-108 final this time. The Pelicans head into Saturday night with a record of 19-25. Improvement to be made, but they’re on a promising path in the right direction. Zion can take games over, and as he continues to mature, we’re going to see it a lot more often.
And from a team standpoint, they have to become a little more consistent overall before finding success, but right moves from the front office likely gets them there. Head below for our free Mavericks vs. Pelicans pick on March 27, 2021.
Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Pelicans NBA Betting Odds:
Mavericks vs. Pelicans Prediction:
The Pelicans got younger by shipping JJ Reddick out of town to Dallas. He will play against his former team tonight and hope to offer up some revenge. Reddick might be a 36-year-old now, but he’s still good for some energy off the bench. The Mavericks get a guard shooting for 8.7 points per game and 40.7% from the field.
For a team that needed a deep threat off the bench, the deal for Reddick made sense for the Mavs. It appears that Luka Doncic should be able to go Saturday night, so expect this team to look much better than what we saw last night, which was pretty ugly. In their first meeting on February 12, Doncic went wild for 46 points, 8 rebounds, and 12 assists. Kristaps Porzingis had a big night as well, with 36 points and 7 rebounds in a monster outing for the Mavericks’ offense. The Mavericks went off for 143 points in a 143-130 win over the Pelicans.
Scoring on the Pelicans isn’t the most difficult thing to do, but it was nevertheless an impressive showing. The Pelicans are 25th in the NBA with 115 points conceded per game. Opponents are shooting 47.3% from the field against the Pelicans. Their ability to defend the three has been atrocious, as teams are connecting at a 39.3% clip for 30th in the league. Doncic knows all too well about the holes in their defense from beyond the arc. Now Reddick has an opportunity to hit from deep against his former employer.
The offense led by Zion Williamson has been fun to watch, though. The Pelicans do a tremendous job around the rim and clean up rebounds well. It’s helped put the Pels in fifth in the NBA with 115.4 points scored per game. They’re also shooting 48.6%, which is mainly aided by their easy attempts in the paint. The Pelicans are fourth in the league in offensive rebounding. That’s the big mismatch that the Pelican can use to their advantage tonight. The OVER is 9-3 in their previous 12 meetings, and I could see another high-scoring affair in New Orleans tonight.