The Orlando Magic can win their ninth consecutive game, and thus tie a franchise record, with a victory tonight over the Dallas Mavericks, who will play tonight without MVP candidate Dirk Nowitzki and starting swingman Caron Butler, who rank first and third on the team in scoring, respectively. Even without those two players, the Mavericks have enough offense to keep plenty of teams at bay, with Jason Terry and J.J. Barea able to get their own shots off the bench, plus finishers like Tyson Chandler, Brendan Haywood, and Shawn Marion. Toss in Jason Kidd's playmaking and DeShawn Stevenson's spot-up shooting and you still have a capable, competent offensive squad that Orlando might struggle to contain, given its recent defensive lapses.
Plus, with Chandler in the mix and a complex defensive scheme that switches between zone and man-to-man at coach Rick Carlisle's whim, Dallas can at least confuse its opponents at the other end. Orlando's offense is rolling of late, but it can scarcely afford to goof up tonight. Kidd, Terry, Marion, and Barea are lethal transition threats, so minimizing turnovers is of the utmost importance tonight. Chandler excels in covering the pick-and-roll, the Magic's go-to play, so open shots here might be harder to come by.
Dallas dealt Orlando its last defeat on December 21st, shooting 12-of-26 from three-point range and getting 20 points from Chandler and Haywood on gimmes around the rim. The Magic would ideally eliminate both threats tonight.
|2010/2011 NBA Season|
|24-12 (9-7 road)
|26-9 (14-7 home)
|January 8th, 2011|
|Fox Sports Florida|
|Jameer Nelson||PG||Jason Kidd|
|Jason Richardson||SG||Jason Terry|
|Hedo Turkoglu||SF||DeShawn Stevenson|
|Brandon Bass||PF||Shawn Marion|
|Dwight Howard||C||Tyson Chandler|
|December 21st: Mavericks 105, Magic 99|
|2010/11 Advanced Stats|
|92.1 (17th)||Pace||90.6 (23rd)|
|106.9 (15th)||ORtg||107.9 (11th)|
|101.0 (4th)||DRtg||103.0 (8th)|