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3 things to watch for as the Mavericks play the Pelicans, again

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The third match-up in 22 games

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks (15-6) face off against the New Orleans Pelicans (6-16) Saturday afternoon. It will be the third match up of these two teams already this season.

Dallas has won seven of ten whereas the Pelicans are riding a crisp seven game losing streak. A Maverick win would give them their second five game winning streak of the season. Here’s some things to think about before and during the game.

Another day game!

This will be the third straight weekend the Mavericks play a day game. Two weeks ago, the Mavericks thumped the Rockets in Houston and last week Dallas walloped the Lakers in Los Angeles.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon’s noted these games were likely scheduled to entice a European audience catching them in the evening. Dallas has responded to this odd schedule with a pair of convincing wins over probably title contending teams. There’s just one more game in this time frame on the schedule this year, against Toronto a few days before Christmas.

Watch for things to get extra physical

When teams see each other frequently, there’s more opportunity for both familiarity and annoyance. With Dallas and New Orleans matching up three times in the first quarter of the season, I expect this game to get testy at times. I’m particularly interested in how New Orleans guards Doncic as playing against him repeatedly frustrated a defense.

Can the Mavericks limit Brandon Ingram?

Ingram’s having the best season of his professional career, pouring in 25 points, grabbing seven rebound, and dishing four assists a game. In the first two contests, he’s hit right around these numbers against Dallas.

These last twenty-plus games the Mavericks have found a number of different defensive options and though Dorian Finney-Smith should get the first crack at defending Ingram, expect to see Maxi Kleber and Delon Wright as well.

How to Watch

Tip-off is set for 1:00 CT, and can be watched on FSSW.