The Dallas Mavericks (2-9) are looking to bounce back and finally notch their third win of the season against the Magic (5-7) tonight in Orlando.
After last night’s 64-point game against the Grizzlies (which felt like a new low but was in fact only the second-lowest scoring game in franchise history), the Mavs must fight through their struggles and get the offense working if they want any chance of taking down the Magic.
Orlando acquired a couple of big names this past offseason, getting Serge Ibaka from the Thunder in a deal that shipped out Victor Oladipo and signing free agent Bismack Biyombo, who had a surprising breakout in the playoffs in his time with the Raptors.
Here’s a few ways the Mavs can overcome the Magic and prevent a five game losing streak.
The starters have to score
This one sounds pretty obvious, but outside of Harrison Barnes, the Mavs’ starting lineup is totally devoid of offensive contributors right now. The Mavs are ranked dead last in points per game, but luckily, the Magic are no offensive juggernaut either, coming in second last.
With such a depleted team at the moment, the Mavs can’t rely too heavily on the bench for scoring. The starters must put forth a more balanced effort than we saw against Memphis last night, where only two starts reached double figures (the second highest scorerer was Seth Curry with 11 points).
Maintain the Magic front court
Nikola Vucevic, Serge Ibaka, Aaron Gordon, and Bismack Biyombo. That’s a lot of height and rebounding there. Andrew Bogut is going to have to try and keep out of foul trouble and stay in the game as much as possible. Over the last four games Bogut has averaged 24 minutes and almost four fouls a game. We will likely see more of Salah Mejri, who’s seen limited playing time so far this season, with Powell getting the minutes over him.
The Mavs can’t afford to get beaten too badly on the glass and will have their work cut out for them with limited bodies to grab rebounds.
We must see production from Seth Curry
Seth, who is currently the Mavericks’ starting point guard, is averaging seven points and 4.3 assists as a starter. Deron Williams will still be out another game with a calf strain, so most of the load will fall on Curry with some help from Jonathan Gibson off the bench.
This is a massive opportunity for Curry to grow and to prove that he can contribute, especially with J.J Barea missing extended time with a torn calf, but if he is unable to get his shot to fall, the Mavs are going to struggle to compete.
How to watch
Tonight’s game tips off at 6:00PM Central and can be seen locally on Fox Sports Southwest. Otherwise, you can catch it on NBA League Pass.