After suffering an embarrassing loss at the hands of the New York Knicks, the Orlando Magic will try to turn things around when they host the Dallas Mavericks Friday night. The Mavericks are coming off a 106-85 loss to the Miami Heat Thursday night. The defeat dropped the Mavs to 29-23. The Magic enter with a record of 31-19.
This is the first and only meeting between these two teams this season.
The Magic rank 16th in offensive rating (104.5), 10th in defensive rating (102.4) and play at the league’s fourth-slowest pace (89.3). The Mavs are 23rd in offensive rating (102.5), sixth in defensive rating (101.0) and play at the 14th-fastest pace (91.6).
Tip-off from the Amway Center is scheduled for 8:00 pm EST. The game will be shown locally on FS Florida and nationally on ESPN.
As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and FM 96.5 and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.
The officials for tonight’s game are Joe Crawford, Dick Bavetta and Kevin Scott.
The Line: Orlando – 5.0 (186.5u)
Brendan Haywood (sprained right knee) will return for the Mavs.
The Mavericks could be one of the many teams to fall victim to the Florida road trip. The Magic had Thursday off while the Mavs were in Miami – fatigue could be a factor.
The Mavs are obviously led by Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki got off to a slow start this season, but he’s gotten somewhat back to normal – he’s putting up 21.0 points per game on 45.5% shooting from the field and 35.5% from beyond the arc. It’s going to be another difficult game for Ryan Anderson, who’s coming off one of his worst games of the season.
Jason Terry provides 15.2 ppg off of the bench while Shawn Marion scores 11.1 ppg. No other player averages more than 9.8 ppg. For the Mavericks, it’s all about a balanced attack, which is also when the Magic are at their best. Orlando’s problem is going to be handling the likes of Terry, Lamar Odom, Brandan Wright (who had 11 points Thursday) and Roddy Beaubois. Of course with their offseason defections, Delonte West banged up and Brendan Haywood out, the Mavs aren’t as deep as they once were. However, they still should be able to take advantage of a Magic bench that has been flat our awful outside of J.J. Redick.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)
Topics: Chris Duhon, Deandre Liggins, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu, Ian Mahinmi, Ish Smith, J.j. Redick, Jameer Nelson, Jason Kidd, Jason Richardson, Jason Terry, Lamar Odom, Mark Cuban, Orlando Magic, Otis Smith, Quentin Richardson, Rick Carlisle, Ryan Anderson, Shawn Marion, Stan Van Gundy, Vince Carter, Von Wafer