It is a back-to-back in Dallas for Orlando tonight as the Magic preseason continues with our third game of five. Time to face Luka Doncic!
The tip time from the American Airlines Center is shown on the NBA app and the Orlando Magic website as being 1:30am here in the U.K. (8:30pm Eastern for our friends in Florida). To watch the game live or on demand you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.
Your Orlando Magic!
Magic Preseason So Far
Orlando opened their preseason losing 97-109 on Monday night to the Memphis Grizzlies. A disjointed Magic offence was led by Cole Anthony 17 points. R.J. Hampton scored 14 points and Paolo Banchero contributed 8 points in his NBA preseason debut.
Last night Orlando took to the court in San Antonio, beating the Spurs 102-99. Wendell Carter Jr recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Franz Wagner weighed in with 12 points as he joined with Paolo Banchero for the first time. Banchero produced a strong box score with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. A Moe Wagner cameo contained his usual enthusiasm and do everything game. RJ Hampton again looked a different player to the one who frankly struggled in Summer League.
The Magic had trailed by 19 points but played to their strengths to fight their way back. Blocks were repeatedly made by Moe Bamba, Bol Bol and Wendell Carter Jr as Orlando utilised their size and strength at both ends of the court.
Of concern in this performance was the accuracy of the Orlando with the long ball, hitting only 9 of 37 attempts (24.3%). It was however a deadly accurate clutch Devin Cannady three with 46 seconds of the game remaining that gave the Magic a 5 point lead, which proved enough to see the game won.
Starting Unit In Memphis
Last Time Out Bench Unit
Gary Harris is out following arthroscopic surgery to his torn meniscus of the left knee.
Jonathan Isaac remains rehabbing his 2 year left knee injury absence. There are still reports suggesting he could be available for the season start.
Markelle Fultz is out with a toe fracture.
Admiral Schofield remained unavailable for the Magic with a knee contusion.
Last Season’s Statistics
Record: 22-60, Finished 15th in NBA Eastern Conference.
PTS/G – 104.2 (29th of 30) Opp PTS/G – 112.2 (20th of 30)
Pace – 10th of 30 Off Rtg – 30th of 30 Def Rtg – 17th of 30
Our Opponents – The Dallas Mavericks
Everything with the Mavs starts and finishes with Luka Doncic! He is a star, a genuine game changer, capable of putting the team on his shoulders and carrying them to victory. Dallas acquired Christian Wood from Houston in summer, a player who averaged over 17 points and 10 rebounds per game last season. Along with Spencer Dinwiddie and Tim Hardaway Jr he has a major role to play in supporting Luka if Dallas are to meet their Championship ambitions.
Rookie guard Jaden Hardy scored 16 of the Mavs’ final 22 points in a 98-96 road victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Hardy finished with a game-high 21 points, hit 8-of-16 from the field and was 4-of-9 from three-point range, playing a total of 24 minutes.
Last Starting Unit
Spencer Dinwiddie (PG), Josh Green (SG), Reggie Bullock (SF), Dorian Finney-Smith (PF), Dwight Powell (C)
Christian Wood, Frank Ntilikina, Jaden Hardy, McKinley Wright IV, Theo Pinson, Tyler Dorsey, Tyler Hall, Marcus Bingham Jr, Mouhamadou Gueye, DJ Stewart
Injury And Inactive Report
According to ESPN:
Luka Doncic was inactive after playing in Eurobasket. Head Coach Jason Kidd has said he plays tonight.
Tim Hardaway Jr is listed as day-to-day, having been rested by Coach Jason Kidd in Oklahoma.
Maxi Kleber missed their preseason opener with an undisclosed issue but is day-to-day.
JaVale McGee was out with an ankle injury.
Davis Bertans was inactive through a knee injury.
Last Season’s Statistics
Regular Season Record: 52-30, Finished 4th in NBA Western Conference.
Won NBA Western Conference First Round (4-2) versus Utah Jazz.
Won NBA Western Conference Semifinals (4-3) versus Phoenix Suns.
Lost NBA Western Conference Finals (1-4) versus Golden State Warriors
PTS/G: 108.0 (24th of 30) Opp PTS/G: 104.7 (2nd of 30)
Pace: 30th of 30 Off Rtg: 15th of 30 Def Rtg: 6th of 30
A back-to-back in Dallas for Orlando is far from easy. Coach Kidd has a wealth of talent at his disposal and will be using an increased amount of it tonight. They play at a measured, calm pace using the shot clock. They do not turn the ball over, shoot the three ball heavily but it is when the Mavs shoot from inside the arc that they are lethal. It is on the defensive end that their strength is built, preventing opponents shooting easily in all areas.
Head-To-Head – The Dallas Mavericks
Of the 67 regular season games played Dallas have a lead of 39-28 over Orlando.
Last season saw the series split 1-1, each team winning on home court. In the previous two seasons Dallas had swept the Magic 2-0. The four seasons before had all been split 1-1, with again the home team winning on each occasion.
Orlando last won in Dallas on January 8th 2011, a 10 game road losing streak!
The teams have never met in the playoffs.
Final Thoughts On A Back-To-Back In Dallas For Orlando
There are still some fans grumbling that Paolo Banchero is not “the guy” and should not have been taken as the number 1 pick. Last time I wrote that one preseason game does not define a career. I will amend that statement here and this time say that preseason at any time does not define a career. Why? Simply because exhibition games are not about results or performance.
I will reiterate my view that preseason is all about improving readiness. In two games so far it has been seen consistently that Orlando are trying out multiple rotations, different formations and plays. Minutes have been limited as the full training camp squad is utilised for opportunity, fitness and readiness.
With a back-to-back in Dallas for Orlando they again face elite talent. It would not however be surprise to see Orlando resting some key players for our third road game in five days. I would not be upset to see Moe Wagner get playing time, I want to see him facing off against Luka again.
Lets Go Magic!