The New Orleans Pelicans have had a pretty good start to their season so far, and are set to welcome the Dallas Mavericks. Who takes the win? Cath the game at 7:30 AM on Wednesday, October 26.
Away: Dallas Mavericks (1-1, 0-1 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Luka Doncic
- SG: Tim Hardaway Jr.
- SF: Reggie Bullock
- PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- C: JaVale McGee
Everything starts and ends with Luka Doncic for the Dallas Mavericks. The Slovenian is currently having an MVP-caliber start to his season with 33.5 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, 1.5 steals and one block per game. He’s not shooting great from beyond the arc so far, averaging 31.6% on 9.5 attempts per game, but his overall threat can’t be ignored.
Christian Wood has been settling into the Mavericks’ offense faster than expected, and he may be the reliable second option that Doncic has been missing, especially since Kristaps Porzingins didn’t work out and Jalen Brunson now lives in New York. Wood’s averages of 25 points and 10 rebounds will be a big boost to the Mavericks this campaign, and Wood may have more energy for offense since he probably won’t have to guard Zion Williamson.
Spencer Dinwiddie and Tim Hardaway are averaging a combined 27.5 points per game so far, and they’ll need to keep the pressure on especially when Doncic is resting.
Home: New Orleans Pelicans (2-1, 0-1 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: CJ McCollum
- SG: Devonte Graham
- SF: Herbert Jones (day-to-day)
- PF: Larry Nance Jr. / Zion Williamson (questionable: hip contusion)
- C: Jonas Valanciunas
The Pelicans are looking at a tough game because Brandon Ingram will be out after being put into concussion protocol. That takes away one of their most potent offensive options, as Ingram produces 22 points, 5.7 rebounds and four assists per game.
Zion Williamson is also doubtful for the game after suffering a hip contusion. Williamson is also averaging 22 points along with 6.7 rebounds per game, which means that he and Ingram’s absence already takes away around a third of the team’s 125 points per game average.
That means they’ll need big nights from CJ McCollum, who is their leading scoring with 23.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game. Jonas Valanciunas will also need to produce, especially against a Mavericks team that lacks significant size outside of JaVale McGee. Valanciunas will need to control the boards to keep the Pelicans in this game, and his current 13 rebound average shows that he’s more than capable of it.
Spread: The absence of Ingram and Williamson will be too much for the Pelicans, and the Mavericks cover the -4 spread.
Over/Under: The under 220 hits.