Dallas Mavericks: Two areas the Mavs need to beat the Pelicans in

Dallas Mavericks DeAndre Jordan (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks DeAndre Jordan (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks go head to head with the New Orleans Pelicans tonight and would love to get their third road win of the season. Where do the Mavs need to succeed to get the win in The Big Easy?

If the Dallas Mavericks are going to get a win tonight over Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, it is going to take a team effort all working together for a common goal. This team is very capable of that and has proven that they are multiple times recently. So what do they need to do to show it again tonight?

There are two things that would be extremely helpful to the Mavs chances tonight.

Prevent Second Chance Points

With a guy like Anthony Davis, offensive rebounds can turn quickly into second chance points and the Mavs, despite a reasonable showing on the defensive glass, have been prone to allowing some teams to kill them on the offensive glass. If they can prevent that tonight, it would go a long way.

The Pelicans are averaging an impressive 118 points per game right now, good for 2nd in the league behind only the Milwaukee Bucks. No matter who you are, second chance points are going to play an important role for a team that is scoring that much on a nightly basis. DeAndre Jordan is going to have a very important role in this game, especially considering the Pels run Anthony Davis at the 5 a lot.

That is probably the key matchup for tonight’s game. DJ will undoubtedly have to guard the Brow for a time to be able to stay in the game. Don’t be too shocked if Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber both get some minutes at the 5 tonight which again could play a big part in the offensive rebounding opportunity for the Pelicans. Matchups are very important.

Once Dallas can settle into the right method for matching up against this very tough team, they have a good shot of collecting the glass in a manner that could result in a win. If not, well, this team doesn’t need anymore opportunities to score the ball, that’s for sure.

Win the Free Throw Contest

The Mavericks have been one of the best teams in the league this year at getting to the free throw line. Dallas is 4th in the league in free throw attempts per game at 26.5. New Orleans is currently 3rd with 26.6 attempts per game. This game could quickly turn into a charity stripe shootout and that is not a good thing for the Mavs.

Despite getting to the line a lot, Dallas is 19th in the league in free throw percentage. Although the Pelicans are not significantly better, they are at 15th in the league. If the Mavs are going to have a shot in this game, they need to continue to get to the line well and they need to make their free throws. With Dennis Smith Jr. missing from the team tonight, that may improve the free throw shooting.

Dallas has been really fascinating to watch this year as they attack the basket. Historically, the Mavs have not been a team that attempts a lot of free throws. Last year they were 29th in the league and in 2016-17 they were 30th.

If they can keep this up, which I believe they can, this would be a team unlike any Rick Carlisle has ever coached. It may make the game a little more boring at times, but it is certainly a helpful stat towards a winning formula.

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The Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans will play each other shortly, starting at 7:00 central time. The Mavs are looking to inch further up the standings as well as help towards solving the road game issue so far this season. The Pels, on the other hand, are just hoping to get back to .500.