The Dallas Mavericks are one of the NBA‘s hottest teams, winning eight of their last ten contests to claim a share of the 7th seed in the highly competitive Western Conference. As red-hot as they’ve been in recent weeks, they’ll have their work cutout for them tonight as they head to New Orleans on the heels of their 111-102 win over the visiting Portland Trailblazers. The Pelicans, meanwhile, are in the midst of a short three-game home stand and coming off of a day off.
As for the state of the two teams, if you still care to monitor divisional standings in today’s NBA, the Mavs currently sit a game and a half better than New Orleans in the Southwest standings, and a game behind Memphis for the lead.
Dallas has scored at least 100 points in all but one game this season but they’ve been a solid 10 points stronger per game at home (115 compared to 105.6 on the road). One thing Dallas can do to address this is attack the paint early and often. Despite featuring Anthony Davis, New Orleans currently allows 51.7 points/game in the paint, the third most in the league. This may not be a particular strength of Dallas most nights as 42% of their points have come in the paint this season, but it’s an advantage they’ll need to try to capitalize on. If they can find success there, the outside game will open up, allowing Dallas’ marksmen to do considerable damage.
For the Mavs, their deadliest weapon is a bench unit who can go toe-to-toe with just about anybody on a given night. Led by veterans JJ Barea and Devin Harris, the Mavs bench has been dominant this season, spearheading this recent hot streak while the majority of the attention has gone to rookie sensation, Luka Doncic.
While Dallas has been stellar at home, winning 10 of its 11 contests, the road has been the polar opposite with the Mavs losing 10 of 11. New Orleans, meanwhile, has won nine of its 12 home games and will provide significantly more resistance than either of Dallas’ prior road wins, Chicago and Houston.
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