It’s a night of NBA wizardry on TNT tonight.
The first of the primetime doubleheader pits two teams that have already had their share of drama so early in this young season. The Mavericks visit New Orleans as one of the most explosive offensive teams to start the season. They’re averaging 121 points per game with Luka Doncic as its engine surrounded by a supporting cast of magnificent role players that include Spencer Dinwiddie who has filled in nicely after the offseason departure of Jalen Brunson and Christian Wood who is an early favorite for Sixth Man of the Year averaging 25.5 points and 10 rebounds per game. Dallas had a 22-point lead in Phoenix reminiscent of their Game 7 domination in the second round last year only to cough it up in the final minutes; they followed that disappointing loss with a drubbing of the Memphis Grizzlies.
For the Pelicans, they’d probably trade their two wins (and a Kelly Olynyk buzzer beater) for two healthy young stars. Brandon Ingram was put in the league’s concussion protocol yesterday after some friendly fire on Sunday.
BI got hit running back on defense pic.twitter.com/19famUtIIa— Ingram Alerts (@IngramAlerts) October 23, 2022
A hip contusion in the same game knocked out Zion Williamson and he is out tonight for the home team. The only saving grace for the Pelicans right now is C.J. McCollum who is averaging 23.3 points and 6.7 assists after inking a two-year, 64 million dollar extension this summer. Despite the injuries, New Orleans should be excited about their prospects for the season because it looks like they've picked up right where they left off from last year. However, tonight’s a tough hill to climb with Herbert Williams also out with a hyperextension of his right knee.
Farther out west, the night cap features the defending champs and the Western Conference champs from two years ago in the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. Both come in 2-1 as they start the year working in new players into their rotations. The Suns haven’t exactly recaptured the magic from their 64-win run a season ago. Former Warrior Damion Lee has fit in perfectly and Cam Johnson has played well in the place of Jae Crowder. Devin Booker scored 35 points on Sunday night in a convincing win over the Clippers, and after a preseason that included a loss to the Adelaide 36ers, things seem to be rising in the valley of the sun.
Up in the Bay, it’s a similar story with the Warriors integrating a handful of new players into their regular rotation, namely their draft crop from the last couple of summers that includes Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and James Wiseman. None have hit the level of young stud Jordan Poole, but the youth movement has certainly taken root in Golden State.
With a depleted Pelicans roster, the ailing Pelicans are a 6-point dogs hosting the Mavericks in the Big Easy while the Suns host the Warriors as slight 1.5-point favorite. But instead of just betting on the outcome of the game, here’s a fun parlay for the evening. Doncic and Paul are averaging 8.0 and 10.7 assists per game respectively. They continue to be the driving force for their teams, generating offense from the point guard position.
Tonight, the over/under for Doncic and Paul in assists are 8.5 (+105) and 9.5 (+100) respectively. Now, parlay them into one bet and the odds shift to +310; that’s a $410 payout on a $100 bet that both Doncic and Paul hit just about their season averages.