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2 things to watch as the Mavericks visit the New Orleans Pelicans

The Mavericks head out on the road

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Charlotte Hornets Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Conference is a weird place. For starters, WHAT IS HAPPENING? Everything we thought we knew is trash. Usually, I’m a fan of chaos. It all dates back to seeing Jurassic Park in theater. You know the scene. Ian Malcolm is in the Ford Explorer with Dr. Ellen Degler. He’s all macking and trying to be suave (let’s be real, this is Jeff Goldblum…he been had suave) and explaining chaos theory. Well, turns out he was right. LIFE FINDS A WAY, Y’ALL.

That’s the Western Conference, right now. It’s like a Matt Moore fever dream. No one expected this and no one thinks it’s real. That said, the Mavericks play again, on the second night of a back-to-back in the Big Easy, tonight. Will it be easy? No. But here’s what to look for:

Anthony Davis, destroyer of worlds

Doyle: OK, so the Mavericks’ defense is playing well. Exceptionally well. But there’s a dark beast lurking in New Orleans and it’s not your hangover. It’s Anthony Davis. This season, he’s averaging everything. Literally. He’s putting up 28 points, 13 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.6 steals, and 2.7 blocks. He has become death.

Kirk, MMB’s intrepid hero knows the troubles Davis brings as well.

It doesn’t compute that a team with a guy posting 28-13-5 -1-3 lines is somehow below .500 and yet that’s just what has happened through the first quarter-plus of the 2018 NBA season. If Dallas hopes to steal a rare road win, they either have to contain Davis within or below his season averages or he has to be the only Pelican player to do damage on the offensive end.

How will the back to back affect the Dallas Mavericks?

Kirk, again:

It’s strange that after 22 games this will be just the third back-to-back scheduled for the Mavericks. They actually play four in a densely scheduled December.

Though they defeated Portland 111-102 Tuesday evening, all of the starters played north of 30 minutes in a game they honestly should have closed out earlier. That the Mavericks had to head from the American Airlines Center to the airport to head to New Orleans can’t be understated. The team will be tired. How they react from there is worth watching.

Doyle: This is a big deal. While New Orleans is about an hour away via charter jet, the team isn’t landing before 1 or 2 a.m. At the time of this writing, there are probably some beat writers still getting in their game stories. But with the effort the Mavs had to put into the final quarter of the game against the Blazers, the fatigue factor will play a big role, especially if the Mavericks sit anyone.