It might be hard to top Tuesday night's wild double-OT finish, but the Dallas Mavericks head to New Orleans on the second night of a back-to-back, starting a three-game road trip. Given the heavy minutes, Dallas very well could be shorthanded at the Smoothie King Arena on Wednesday night. So the time to bask in the glow of that Deron Williams buzzer beater expires in 3...2...
WHAT HAPPENED THE LAST TIME THESE TEAMS MET?
Thanks for asking, jerk. The Pelicans beat the Mavs in Dallas over the weekend, so the sting of that defeat(and the questionable call that helped assure it) is likely still there. Anthony Davis poured in 31 points and 14 rebounds, and point guard Norris Cole also had a double-double with 16 points and 12 boards. Deron Williams missed the fourth quarter of that game with hamstring tightness, but showed no ill effects scoring a team high 25 against Sacramento.
WHAT WILL BE THE KEY MATCHUP?
Speaking of missing quarters, Chandler Parsons had to sit out the end of the Kings' game after taking a hard screen from human mountain DeMarcus Cousins, and is listed as day-to-day. It is unclear as of yet who else might not play, as several key players logged heavy minutes in Tuesday night's lengthy affair, but Dirk seems like a likely candidate to sit out, too. One guy who will almost certainly be ready to go, though, is the Mavs' enforcer, Zaza Pachulia, who draws the toughest assignment of the night against superstar Anthony Davis. Expect to see Zaza on AD early but have Carlisle mix things up as the game goes on. Dallas played a little zone against New Orleans on Saturday.
WHAT SURPRISE PLAYER SHOULD YOU LOOK OUT FOR ON BOTH SIDES?
More than a specific player, it appears the Pelicans are starting to get a little healthier after being utterly ruined by injuries to start the year. Tyreke Evans, who missed the last matchup, may be ready to go tonight, and Jrue Holiday has finally come off a minutes restriction. Meanwhile, Dallas may be a little shorthanded with Parsons banged up and their older guys coming off a marathon battle against the Kings. So this game might be one where Rick Carlisle reaches a little deeper into his bench. I'd be curious to see more Dwight Powell and maybe even a little John Jenkins.
HOW TO WATCH
The game is set to get underway at 7 p.m. CT. Tune in to FSSW if you're a Dallas local, or League Pass if you're an out-of-towner. Enjoy, and go Mavs!