The Dallas Mavericks are 13-6, winners of 7 of their last 8, and are headed for a Tuesday evening national television game against the 6-14 New Orleans Pelicans. TNT surely envisioned this game would be a matchup of the reigning and soon-to-be Rookies of the Year when they scheduled this game. Life comes at you fast. You hate to see it. Et cetera.
Dallas is coming off a Sunday afternoon win in what I’m told was a “good day” against the West-leading Los Angeles Lakers, while New Orleans fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, their fifth loss in a row.
By the numbers, Dallas should be able to put New Orleans away. But sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole tale.
Here are a few things to keep an eye on:
Dallas is shooting 36.1 percent from three on the season and seems to be settling in as a just-outside-the-top-10 team by this metric. Dallas will likely continue to have some stretches of lights out shooting wherein they blow opposing teams out of the water, and then lesser stretches when the games slow down and become a little tighter. As long as the tough periods are fewer and further between, the Mavericks’ three-point shooting will end up right where we hoped it would be.
New Orleans, somehow, is fourth in the league in three-point shooting. After shooting a blistering 44.7 percent against the Thunder, the Pelicans now sit at 38.3 percent on the season. They shoot 43.3 percent in wins, and 36.4 percent in losses. Dallas should look to lock down the long ball as much as possible.
Brandon “The Spider Legs Man” Ingram
The fully realized Brandon Ingram situation is finally happening. This is the player we were told Ingram could become. The player that many gave up on ever seeing in the flesh. Ingram is averaging 25.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game, on 49/42/81 splits.
Ingram, while playing essentially the same minutes from last year has upped his scoring by 7+ points per game, his rebounds by 2+ per game, and his assists by 1 per game. A jump of nearly 9 percentage points on his three-point shooting and 14 percentage from the free throw line have added to the overall efficacy of his play. Don’t look now, but Ingram’s numbers truly do compare favorably to year-four Kevin Durant. Good luck Dorian, Maxi, Justin, KP, Luka, Delon, et al.
What’s changed in five weeks?
On October 25, the Mavericks beat the Pelicans 123 to 116. (Speaking of, I believe our sister site, The Bird Writes, still owes us a cauldron of gumbo because of that outcome.) In that game, Courtney Lee started. Remember that? Remember how weird that was? Also in that game, JJ Redick—who terrifies me—played 22 minutes and only took three shots, making a single three pointer. I would expect those two things will probably be different.
As for things I’d guess would stay the same? Luka and Ingram. During that first matchup Ingram had 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists—almost exactly his averages for the season. Luka Doncic, our Boy King? Well, he had a 25-10-10 triple double, as he is wont to do. Some things never change.
Hey @thebirdwrites you guys wanna make a bet like governors do for college football games? If the Mavs win I want a cauldron of gumbo. If the Pels win I’ll mail you a drum of crude oil.— Mavs Moneyball (@mavsmoneyball) October 26, 2019
How to watch
The game tips at 6:30 PM Central on TNT following an airing of the highest grossing film from the year 2000, Mission: Impossible II. Enjoy, my babies.