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4 things as the Mavericks host the Pelicans

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Machine versus Nature.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Ripples break the surface of the water. Its once glass-like appearance turns violent, chaotic. They’re aloft. A dozen or so lift effortlessly from the waters. Wings outstretched, they climb higher and higher. The pelicans are soaring. But why have they so suddenly taken to the air? Why leave the tranquility of the water? Man. Yes, man caused them to alight in fright. However, it isn’t man himself; it’s what man has brought with him. Rumbling through the landscape, metallic squeals and lumbering treads announce its presence. Saplings snap before it, unable to escape. It’s one of the most terrifying forces man has created. The pelicans know this. But they also know that it cannot join them in the sky. They have the advantage. Beneath them, however, it sits waiting. Its might goes unchecked. No one questions a tank.

A brave pelican

Looking down from hundreds of feet up, the tank isn’t as intimidating. In fact, it looks small and pathetic. Besides, what does a pelican know about cannons and armor? One pelican knows that if it can eliminate its enemy, then he can return to the calm waters. That pelican’s name is Anthony Davis. He swooped lower to get a better look at the tank below. The time isn’t right for an attack. Not yet, anyway. Adeptly, Davis surveyed the tank. Noting its weaknesses. With this tank, the pelican noted, there were plenty.

Hatching a plan

Davis climbed higher, returning to the flock. He found his trusting companion, Jrue Holiday, there. Explaining what he found on his reconnoiter, Davis and Holiday hatched a plan to defeat the tank. It would not be easy. They would need help from the rest of the flock but Davis would lead the way. He saw a glaring weakness in the tank. It didn’t carry any armor in the middle and he knew that he alone was best suited to exploit it. The plan was set.

The attack

Holiday dove from the clouds, leading the flock. He swooped down and took the tank by surprise. It couldn’t react fast enough to his attack and spun its turret in a desperate attempt to target him. As the tank spun, another pelican began dropping stones on it from high above. It was Nikola Mirotic. Some stones missed but the ones that landed were devastating and they were relentless. Mercurial pelican, Rajon Rondo, fed Mirotic a steady, relentless stream of stones.

While the attack persisted, the tank offered up only minimal resistance. It was outmatched but wasn’t going to surrender. It was here for the fight. A few blasts from its cannon whittled away at the pelicans’ attack. But its soft middle proved time and again that it would not last long in the fight. Regardless, it fought on.

The final blow

Davis circled the scene. It was time. He spread his wings wide, catching an updraft, and climbed higher. Then, tucking his wings back slightly, he dove. Building speed, Davis aimed for the tank. It did not see him coming. Even if it did, it wouldn’t have mattered. Davis was unlike any other pelican, you see. He was massive but with the speed and agility of a peregrine falcon. The advantage was his.

He struck. Grabbing the tank by his bill-tip, Davis lifted it off the ground. He then flipped it in the air, and opened his bill wide. The tank fell in and quickly disappeared into his gullet. It was over.

The pelicans returned to the water victorious. After each had landed, the surface again resembled glass. Their world was free of disturbance once more.

How to watch

The game starts at 6 p.m. Central on FSSW or NBA League Pass.