Game 25 Preview: Mavs vs Magic

The Mavs are now 11-2 at home with 9 straight wins at the AAC.  They look to protect that winning streak tonight against the Orlando Magic tonight for a 7:30pm CT tip-off and free t-shirt night at the AAC.

This will be Mavs fans first look at #6 overall draft pick and backup Center for the Magic, Mo Bamba.  With his 7’one-thousand” wing span and impeccable shot blocking ability, Mo Bamba was a very interesting prospect and my #10 ranked Rookie so far this season.  Luckily for us, Mavs front office moved up, drafted Luka, and the rest is now history.  Even still, Bamba should be fun to watch and I am interested to see what kind of role he has in the Magic offense.

However, the big man I am most interested in watching is upcoming free-agent Center Nikola Vucevic.  He is the leading scorer on the Magic and is showing up big in his contract year with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.  He can block shots, shoot the 3, score on the post, and pass efficiently.  With these kind of numbers, he will get a lot of attention this off-season but the Mavs have a lot of money to play around with.  I am pretty happy with DeAndre Jordan’s performance for the Mavs this season but he is limited offensively and is two years older than Vucevic.

Hopefully the Mavs will not need the late game heroics of Luka Doncic this game.  Against a lesser eastern conference foe it would be nice to see them put together a lead early and hold it down with great team defense and offensive execution.  But, if it comes down to it and we need a bucket late (or an 11-0 run), we know our boy Luka is up to the task.

Matchup Summary:

Dallas Mavericks Orlando Magic
Record  13-11  12-14
Last 10 Games  7-3  4-6
Position 8th in West 8th in East
PPG 110.5 (13th) 105.7 (26th)
Points Allowed 109.3 (10th) 108.2 (8th)
Pace 99.8 (15th) 97.9 (25th)
FG % 46% (13th) 45.3% (18th)
3p % 35.7% (11th) 35.4% (14th)
FT % 74.8% (20th) 78.3% (10th)
RPG 45.4 42.3
APG 22.8 26.0
TO 15.9 12.7

8th in the West vs 8th in the East.  The Mavs are a much hotter team, winning 7 of the last 10 games while Orlando has only managed to in 4.  Orlando has trouble scoring, ranked 25th in the league at about 106 points per game.  They make up for this by taking care of the ball, one of the best in the league at not turning the ball over.

Projected Starters:

Dallas Mavericks PTS REB AST STL BLK
PG Jalen Brunson 4.8 1.2 1.6 0.6 0
SG Wesley Matthews 15.8 2.6 2.4 0.8 0.2
SF Luka Doncic 18.2 6.5 4.1 1.1 0.3
PF Harrison Barnes 17.6 4.5 1.4 0.8 0.3
C DeAndre Jordan 11.2 13.8 2.2 0.7 1
Houston Rockets PTS REB AST STL BLK
PG DJ Augustin 10.3 2.1 5.3 0.4 0
SG Evan Fournier 15.1 2.9 3.8 1 0.3
SF Jonathan Simmons 6.8 2.4 2.3 0.5 0.5
PF Aaron Gordon 16.6 7.7 2.8 1 0.9
C Nikola Vucevic 21 11.3 3.7 1 1

Dennis Smith Jr has missed 4 games this season, tonight being his 5th.  In the last 4, Brunson started 2 and Finney-Smith started 2.  I bet Rick rolls out the Rookie again tonight.

Injury Report:

Player Team Description
Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks Out (Foot)
Dennis Smith Jr Dallas Mavericks Out (Wrist)
Maxi Kleber Dallas Mavericks Questionable (Toe)
Timofey Mozgov Orlando Magic Questionable (Knee)

It sounds like Dirk will still be OUT this game but should return just about any day now.  We will definitely be without Dennis Smith Jr but hopefully Maxi will be able to return to the court.

Betting Line

Dallas Mavericks are favored by 4 points, the over/under set at 212.

I thought the Mavericks would be bigger favorites here.  Given their hot play recently, especially at home, Vegas needs to give them some more respect.  I’ll take the Mavs giving up 4 points and the over.

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