Orlando face the visiting Mavs tonight in the Amway on Game Day 35. Dallas are finding form so this will be another difficult task for the Magic.
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The tip time is shown on the NBA app and Orlando Magic website as being a 12:00 midnight here in the UK (7:00pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
THE MATCHUP – ORLANDO FACE THE VISITING MAVS
The Dallas Mavericks last played on Saturday night in Brooklyn. The Mavs beat the Nets 115-98. Six Dallas players made double figure scoring. Luka Doncic led the team with 27 points and Kristaps Porzingis 18.
The Magic took another loss in the Amway to the Utah Jazz on Saturday night by 124-109. The team was again led by Nikola Vucevic, hitting a total of 34 points. This was a better performance for long periods against the NBA’s leading team.
The Mavs have won 8 of 16 games on the road this season. Orlando have won 8 of 18 games at home in the Amway. Season records see Orlando at 13-21, whilst Dallas are 16-16. Across the last 10 games that each team has played the Mavs have a 7-3 record, whilst Orlando are 4-6. Orlando have now lost their last three games.
Results see Dallas holding the 9th position in the Western Conference. Orlando are 13th in the Eastern Conference.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE DALLAS MAVERICKS
The Mavs come into the game as the NBA’s 12th ranked offensive team, scoring 112 points per game. A defensive rating at 25th sees them conceding an average of 113 points per game.
Offensively they are happy to play at pace or to be patient and use all of the shot clock. Scoring wise 48.8% comes from inside the paint. 35.2% of their points per game come from beyond the arc. They shoot 46.5% from the field and 35.4% with the 3 ball. Surprisingly they have a low rate of assists per game, the same as Orlando at 22.6.
Defensively they block 4.6 times per game for steals have a league rating of 29th with only 6.4 per game. They turn the ball over at a rate of 12.4 times per game, this is a team who take care of their possessions. On average they foul a lot at 20.6 times per game. Orlando by contrast foul only 16.9 times per game, the best record in the NBA. They do not dominate the glass on either end of the court.
THE DALLAS MAVERICKS SQUAD
Coach Rick Carlisle used a starting line-up of Dorian Finney-Smith (8.5 PPG), Luka Doncic (28.5 PPG), Maxi Kleber (6.7 PPG), Josh Richardson (12.8 PPG), and Kristaps Porzingis (20.4 PPG) on Saturday night in Brooklyn.
From the bench came Jalen Brunson (12.4 PPG), Tim Hardaway Jr (16.7 PPG), Willie Cauley Stein (5.7 PPG), Trey Burke (7.5 PPG), Dwight Powell (4.7 PPG), Wes Iwundu (2.1 PPG), James Johnson (6.1 PPG) and Boban Marjanovic (4.6 PPG).
THE HEAD-TO-HEAD: DALLAS MAVERICKS
Of the 64 regular season games played Dallas have a lead of 37-27 over Orlando.
One meeting this season on January 9th saw Orlando lose 98-112 in Dallas. Tim Hardaway Jr went for 36 points, Trey Burke 29 and Luka Doncic 20.
Last season saw Dallas sweep Orlando 2-0. The four seasons previously had all been split 1-1, with the home team winning each occasion.
The last time Orlando won in Dallas was on January 8th 2011, a 9 game road losing streak!
The teams have never met in the playoffs.
THE MAGIC INJURY AND ABSENCE REPORT
The injury report is now back up 5 players.
According to ESPN:
James Ennis III (7.3 PPG) is day-to-day with a calf injury.
Cole Anthony (11 PPG) is now out until after All Star with a non-displaced rib fracture.
Aaron Gordon (13.8 PPG) was set to miss 4 to 6 weeks from February 1st with a severe left ankle sprain.
Markelle Fultz (12.9 PPG) has a torn left knee ACL, a season finishing injury. He is now in the lengthy process of rehab following successful surgery.
Jonathan Isaac is out indefinitely recovering from knee surgery.
Karim Mane (1.2 PPG) is absent to be with the Lakeland Magic. The NBA G-League season began on February 10th in a “bubble” at Walt Disney World.
THE MAGIC LINE-UP AS ORLANDO FACE THE VISITING MAVS
The starting unit against Brooklyn was again Michael Carter-Williams (7.7 PPG), Al-Farouq Aminu (3.7 PPG), Evan Fournier (18.2 PPG), Dwayne Bacon (10.3 PPG) and Nikola Vucevic (24.4 PPG).
From the bench came Terrence Ross (15.1 PPG), Chasson Randle (5.3 PPG), , Chuma Okeke (4.4 PPG), Mo Bamba (4.9 PPG) and Gary Clark (3.3 PPG). Khem Birch (6.1 PPG) was available but did not feature.
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDING – 13th
SEASON RECORD – 13-21
HOME RECORD – 8-10
ROAD RECORD – 5-11
NBA OFFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 28TH OF 30 (105.2)
NBA DEFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 18TH OF 30 (111.2)
POINTS PER GAME – 28TH OF 30 (104.9)
OPPONENTS POINTS PER GAME – 12TH OF 30 (111.6)
RECORDS WHEN LEADING AND SCORING
RECORD LEADING AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER – 6-3
WHEN LEADING AT HALF TIME – 11-2
AND WHEN LEADING GOING INTO THE FOURTH QUARTER – 9-1
RECORD WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 100 POINTS – 1-13
WHEN SCORING 100 TO 109 POINTS – 4-6
WHEN SCORING 110 TO 119 POINTS OR MORE – 3-2
AND WHEN SCORING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 5-0
RECORDS FOR CONCEDING THIS SEASON
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 100 POINTS OR LESS – 5-1
WHEN CONCEDING 100 TO 109 POINTS – 3-4
AND WHEN CONCEDING 110 TO 119 POINTS – 3-6
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 2-9
LEAST AND LARGEST ON THE SEASON
LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY – 20 – GAME DAY 7 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT – 42 – GAME DAY 9 HOUSTON ROCKETS
HIGHEST POINTS SCORED THIS SEASON – 130 – GAME DAY 2 VS WASHINGTON WIZARDS
LEAST POINTS SCORED THIS SEASON – 84 – GAME DAY 14 NEW YORK KNICKS
MOST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 132 – GAME DAY 9 HOUSTON ROCKETS
LEAST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 83 – GAME DAY 7 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
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KEYS TO THE GAMES
As Orlando face the visiting Mavs Coach Clifford will be wanting a morale boosting win. A winning 3 game run has been replaced by 3 consecutive losses and Orlando are dropping down the standings. With a universally accepted tough schedule to the second half of the season awaiting Orlando must find form soon.
For a third game running no Magic fan is under any illusion, the Mavs have the edge. It is true today with injuries and even facing a fully fit Magic squad Luka Doncic tips the balance. Orlando’s injuries are still impactful, with three starters and the back-up point guard as long term absentees.
As Dallas arrive in Orlando the game could be seen as a foregone conclusion but neither coach will approach it that way.
For Orlando scoring is a key. Statistics show that if we hit less than 100 points then we almost certainly lose. There is a need for the Magic to see others take on some of the scoring duties, Vucevic can not do it alone. Terrence Ross and Evan Fournier have had two poor games but in their stead few have stepped up.
Orlando need to find effective and accurate ball movement and to get a better percentage of shooting accuracy. The team can not afford to get into foul trouble and must limit those live ball turnovers.
Coach Clifford will be planning for the multiple threats possessed by Dallas. The most obvious is Luka Doncic, capable of scoring from anywhere on the court and possessing great court vision to set up his team mates. Of his 307 made field goals 227 have been two pointers. The drive to the paint sees him get a lot of foul calls.
Doncic is far from the only threat. Porzingis, Richardson, Hardaway, Brunson, Finney-Smith, Kleber and Burke are all capable of scoring.
Defence will be where Orlando build from to be in in this game. The most recent wins came from that focus. Dallas are a team built on offence, stop them scoring. Their defence is not a strong point, scoring should be available to Orlando.