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Preseason Preview: Dallas Mavericks at New Orleans Pelicans

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The Pelicans enter their last preseason game winners of three straight. The Mavericks are looking to stop their winning streak and notch another preseason record to get to one game over .500.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What has New Orleans done lately?

The Pelicans have won their last three preseason games bringing their record to 4-2. Two games ago, they blew out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 120-86. Of course, Kevin Durant didn't play. It's also the preseason. On Monday, New Orleans beat the Washington Wizards 88-84 with Anthony Davis leading the way scoring 14 points on 7-8 shooting while also pulling down eight rebounds and blocking two shots. The notable scorer for the Pelicans in that game was Austin Rivers, the son of Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. He scored 10 points in 24 minutes and also grabbed five rebounds. However, he also posted a +/- of -8. New Orleans needs solid contribution from Rivers this season if they hope to alleviate their bench woes from last season.

Which Pelicans player might be due for a big game?

It's tough to determine who might show up for New Orleans since it is their last preseason game. Davis would normally be a shoe-in but he may be on a minutes limit. Therefore, it may fall on the aforementioned Rivers to produce. He needs to prove to Monty Williams that he deserves a rotation spot.

Which Mavericks player might be due for a big game?

The Mavs have their full compliment of starters back and it's likely that Rick Carlisle will want to get some burn out of them before their final preseason game. For this game, it would stand that Davis poses the biggest problem for the Mavericks. Therefore, Chandler Parsons is the player to keep an eye on. He will likely draw the defensive assignment against Davis. What? You think Dirk Nowitzki should guard him?

Beyond spot defending Davis, Dallas has integrated Parsons into their free-flowing offense well. He is free to create for himself and look to set up others. The preseason is just a glimpse of what he can bring to the table and his potential has yet to be fully tapped.

What's the biggest matchup to watch?

Dirk and the Brow would be the obvious picks but it might be the newly acquired centers that steal the show. Both the Mavericks and Pelicans traded for centers this offseason to bolster their defense. Dallas brought back fan favorite Tyson Chandler and New Orleans brought in Omer Asik. Chandler is the elder statesman of the two while Asik is entering his fifth year in the league. How they battle in this game could determine the outcome.

But then again, it's the preseason. Who knows what could matter?