NOP vs DAL Dream11: NBA is gearing towards the All-Star Break and the All-Star weekend brings festivities of various sorts as we head into the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night event(American-calendar wise). You get to see sharpshooters drain it in the three-point contest, athletic stalwarts jamming it hard in the Slam Dunk Contest, the well-heralded All-Star Game, and much more. But that all doesn’t interest me because as I write about 100s of games in a season, I get more attached to the Regular Season where the field is set for the Playoffs, and guess what the Playoffs are not far away at this point. So, considering that, let us jump into the game between the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans.
The Mavericks have ten more wins than losses and indeed they have turned it on since the beginning of January. Mavs have been playing short-handed and with a limited rotation, they have done a wonderful job at the defensive end. The team traded Porzingis to get Dinwiddie in the exchange but let us see how that impacts the overall scenario when scoring will be even tougher in the Playoffs?
On the other hand, the Pelicans are in for a desperate push. They have been losing quite a bit season and they are in for an intense fight for the tenth spot. After acquiring CJ McCollum, the team hasn’t done that well, not because of CJ or anything but due to the variations in the lineup and a lack of bench perhaps. Only if the Pelicans could have been playing defense like the Mavs…
Host: New Orleans Pelicans
Visitors: Dallas Mavericks
Match Timing: 18 February, @ 06:30 AM
Venue: Smoothie King Center
Mavericks: Defensive-minded, closing it with Luka
The Mavericks have been one of the best defensive teams in the league. On par with the Celtics since February and their defense keeps them in the game till the late periods. This has been the mantra for the Jason Kidd-led squad since the beginning of the season and the strengthening of the defense can always pose a threat to even top-tier teams. However, the Mavericks will have to make a desperate bid to catch up with the higher-ranked squads in Jazz and Grizzlies. The Jazz is gettable but the Grizzlies are running away with it as of now. How will the team respond as the Playoffs window nears?
One thing is for sure, the big Forward duo of Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber has kept things on a leash for the oppositions while Center Dwight Powell also has played a huge role in the middle. Reggie Bullock, who was out in the last game, also has been a booster on both ends of the closer. But of course, the Mavericks’ offensive effort is usually defined by their first-option Luka Doncic, whose ability to do a lot of things on the floor makes Dallas a winning unit. And when you pair up a talented one-guard like Jalen Brunson with him, of course, results will follow. The Mavericks have been doing a great job of finishing games and Luka is a huge reason for that of course.
Pelicans: They need a run!
The rise of the Portland Trail Blazers, a team that has rather benefitted from the CJ McCollum-Josh Hart exchange has made things tougher for Pelicans from here. Every game from here on is vital for the Pels because the race for the tenth spot can become tenuous by each day. The San Antonio Spurs are not far away from them and they surely can surprise a lot of opponents due to their offense the Pelicans are sandwiched between the Trail Blazers and Spurs, with Trail Blazers leading both. Now, what the Pelicans will need to do from here on is get on a winning streak and show urgency as you can’t afford to fall behind and catch up from here on.
The trouble has been the one-guard position where Devonte Graham’s game has fallen off thing month, and he is not even averaging half of the points compared to his season average. For a team that doesn’t have many perimeter jump shooters off the bench, the cohesion of the main five becomes a necessity. Make no mistake, CJ is thriving with the Pels so far but yes, this is a time when Brandon must adjust to the reduced number of touches. Valanciunas has done his job well and rookie Herbert has given more than just defense. It is up to Devonte now, if he gets going, the Pelicans will be in a better position certainly. And someone from the bench also needs to step up, who will it be? Jaxson Hayes has been playing some of his best basketball recently but they need a shooter to get going.
Dallas Mavericks | New Orleans Pelicans
Games: 58 | 58
Wins: 34 | 23
Defeats: 24 | 35
New Orleans Pelicans News
Pelicans Expected Starting Five
Wings: SF: Brandon Ingram | SF/PF: Herbert Jones
Middle: C: Jonas Valanciunas
Guards: SG: CJ McCollum | PG: Devonte Graham
BENCH: Jaxson Hayes, Gary Clarke, Naji Marshall, Jose Alvarado, Willy Hernangomez, Trey Murphy III, Garrett Temple, Wenyen Gabriel.
strong>Dallas Mavericks Team News
Mavericks Expected Starting Five
Big Forward: PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
Middle: C: Dwight Powell
Guards: PG: Jalen Brunson | PG: Luka Doncic | SG: Josh Green
BENCH: Spencer Dinwiddie, Maxi Kleber, Sterling Brown, Frank Ntilikina(QUESTIONABLE), Boban Marajanovic, Moses Brown, Trey Burke(QUESTIONABLE).
Luka has been dipping points at a high rate these days and he has always been a terrific all-around player. Doncic has been in the 25+ points, 8+ rebounds, and 5+ assists range lately. He can be chosen as a Star/Pro Player in the Dream 11 NBA Fantasy scenario.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 37-66
Brandon’s scoring has been down since CJ McCollum has been in the team but he has been still making his presence felt through his playmaking and rebounding. He has been in the 15+ points, 3+ rebounds, and has dished around 5 assists a game lately.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 25-36
Jalen has lovely floaters, mid-range jumpers, and he can also hit three-pointers at an incredible rate while being a viable playmaker. Brunson has been in the 19-23 points and 4-6 assists range lately.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 28-40
Jonas has been a dominant force in the middle, grabbing rebounds at a high rate and also being a great finisher. Valanciunas has been in the 16-19 points and 8-12 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 29-40
McCollum has been dipping points at a higher rate with Pels and his impact has been dishing assists at a high clip. McCollum has been in the 25+ points, 5+ rebounds, and 5+ assists range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 39-55
Kleber has been a huge rebounder, defensive player, and his overall play has been impressive for the Mavericks. Maxi has been in the 6-9 rebounds range and 5-8 points range mostly.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 20-37
NOP vs DAL Dream11 Team
PG: L Doncic(SP), J Green
SG: C McCollum(PP)
SF: D Finney-Smith
PF: M Kleber, J Hayes
C: D Powell, J Valanciunas
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Ah, what a joy is to witness CJ’s lovely stepbacks, Doncic’s unreal jumpers, and Dorian Finney-Smith’s pesky defense! However, for NBA fans in India, this game can’t be watched through the official streaming platforms. The two designated Indian streaming services Voot and JIOTV are not going to display this game. And that is why the most viable way to plug into all the NBA games is by buying the annual subscription that can be availed through the NBA League Pass that is your way to all the live streams and full game replays too. To know the scores, stats, and news, visit the official website of the NBA.