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3 things to watch for as Mavericks take on the Pelicans

After a difficult loss, will Dallas bounce back or continue slide?

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks concluded their four game homestand in heartbreaking fashion Monday night, surrendering a 14-0 run in the final few minutes to Russel Westbrook and the OKC Thunder. Now, they’ll try to bounce back Wednesday in New Orleans.

Cousins to return?

DeMarcus Cousins has had an up and down introduction into the Pelicans lineup since being acquired in February. The Pelicans have not exactly flourished in the Twin Tower era, though the move was likely made with future seasons in mind. Cousins did drop 41 and 16 in a big win over Memphis last week, but he’s has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. As of this writing it is not known if Boogie will be cleared to play against Dallas. Cousins averaged 27.5 points per game in his last six match-ups against Dallas as a member of the Kings.

Who goes at point for Dallas?

The Mavericks have also been dealing with a key starter’s absence, as Seth Curry was a late scratch Monday due to a shoulder ailment. Curry’s status -- much like Cousins’ — is unknown, and if he can’t go, one would assume Yogi Ferrell will start again at point guard. The Mavs had been trying to see what they had in Curry as an offensive initiator, as an offseason looms that might make the position the top area of need for Dallas to address. It’s been well-documented that the draft is loaded with point guard talent, and there are some marquee names hitting free agency there, as well, including the Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday. Getting as much of a look at Curry as possible would be really nice for the Mavs’ front office.

Who dares to lose (or win)?

Speaking of the draft, Dallas and New Orleans are currently only a half game separated (tied in the win column) in the standings, with the Pelicans in 9th place and Dallas in 10th. If you are one of those fans who want the best possible draft position, a loss would leapfrog Dallas ahead (or behind? I mean, I dunno) of the Pels, who have no incentive to bolster their lottery status, since they will give their first rounder to the Kings if it’s outside the top 3 as a result of the Cousins’ trade.

How to watch

Tip-off scheduled for 8:00 Eastern, 7:00 Central Time. NOT 7:30, so we’re not confused here. Enjoy, and let’s go Mavs!