New Orleans Pelicans visit Dallas Mavericks in a Primetime clash on Saturday at 7pm and you can watch live for free on skysports.com, the Sky Sports app and YouTube.
The Pelicans have struggled from the outset of the season without No 1 overall draft pick Zion Williamson. It is now six weeks since the former Duke star had surgery to repair the lateral meniscus in his right knee and he is not expected back before Christmas Day.
In Williamson's absence, New Orleans have lost 14 of their opening 20 games, despite good play from veteran guard Jrue Holiday and forward Brandom Ingram, acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in the trade that sent former Pelicans franchise star Anthony Davis to the West Coast.
The Pelicans play at a breakneck pace, a trait typical of their head coach Alvin Gentry, but their problems stem from the opposite end of the court. Their defensive rating (they give up 113.4 points per 100 possessions) is the fifth-worst in the NBA. On average, they allow 4.3 points more than they score per 100 possessions, a figure that explains their 14th position in the Western Conference.
That spells trouble for New Orleans against the Mavericks who, led by the MVP-level play of 20-year-old Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic, are the NBA's best offensive team at present, averaging an NBA-best 116 points per 100 possessions.
Dallas (13-6) won five straight games before their Week 6 defeat to the LA Clippers but bounced back in spectacular fashion on Sunday night when they snapped the Los Angeles Lakers' 10-game win streak.
The Mavericks' high-powered offense has proven difficult for most of their recent opponents to handle - with only the full-strength Clippers managing to shackle them. Over a three-game period in November, Rick Carlisle's team scored 142 points in a 48-point win over the Golden State Warriors, put up a further 143 points in a shellacking of the Cleveland Cavaliers and, most impressively, dominated the Houston Rockets to record a 137-123 road win.
Doncic was sensational throughout November, averaging 31.7 points, 10.4 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game, becoming only the third player in league history after Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook to average a 30-point triple-double over the course of a month.
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Watch the Mavericks host the Pelicans via a free live stream on skysports.com, the Sky Sports mobile app and Sky Sports' YouTube channel on Saturday night from 7pm