Mavericks Need to Stop the Skid Against Orlando to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
It’s that time of the NBA season when the middling teams begin to separate; some push for a place in the playoffs while others nosedive for a place in the draft lottery.
Despite the Orlando Magic getting off to a decent start and Dallas Mavericks being rather woeful through their opening games, the script has flipped, with the Magic looking as though they should tank, and the Mavericks possibly preparing a surge for the playoffs.
Magic and Mavs to go their separate ways
Even though both teams are on losing streaks and are only split by a single win, the Dallas Mavericks have been in far better form, even hinting at a late-season playoff push.
With Dallas in decent 5-5 form in their last ten – heavily weighted by their three-game skid – and Orlando posting a 1-9 last ten record, there’s no wonder why the Mavs are favoured by NBA bookmakers at -275 in this game, with the Magic sitting at +225.
Clash of play styles
The Magic play at speed while getting inside to do the majority of their scoring but the Mavericks, on the other hand, aim to slow down the tempo of the game, limit turnovers, and control the pace of the game.
If the home team is allowed to control the speed of the game, they will likely dominate for long spells.
While Harrison Barnes will hope to continue his strong run of recent form for Dallas – scoring above his season average in three of the last four games – the Magic look to put more of their trust in young star Aaron Gordon.
Magic head coach Frank Vogel has been impressed with the development of Gordon and has been deploying him as the centrepiece in game-changing plays, recently stating: “He’s not just a spot-up shooter; he’s a pindown shooter. That says a lot about his development, quite frankly.”
Two injury stricken teams
The Dallas Mavericks are set to be without Seth Curry, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Nerlens Noel in this one. Orlando is set to be without Jonathan Issac, Nikola Vucevic, and Terrence Ross, with the recently injured Jonathan Simmons listed as questionable to play in this one.
A clash of styles could result in the underdogs taking an unexpected win if they take their chances and defend well, but with Dallas seeking higher standing, look for the Mavericks to stop the skid with