The Dallas Mavericks (4-2) have a great opportunity in early November to collect some wins, as they’re in the midst of what could be the softest spot in their schedule. Wednesday night the Mavericks play host to the Orlando Magic (2-5), who will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back (they lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-94 Tuesday night).
In the first couple weeks of the season the Mavericks have seen major contributions from a variety of players, grabbing a few solid wins and hanging close in two home losses. The most exciting part of all this? They still have room to grow.
Here’s what we’ll be watching for tonight!
A Ratings Battle
The Dallas Mavericks currently hold what might be the best offense in the NBA, ranking first with a 113.4 offensive rating. And while the Magic are dead last in offensive rating, they rank fifth with a 100.3 defensive rating.
The Magic will use their length and athleticism to try and disrupt Luka Doncic’s two-man game, neutralizing Mavericks lob threats, and forcing tough shots along the perimeter.
Even if the Magic give the Mavericks trouble with their length, they should still find ways to score. And while the Mavericks aren’t elite defensively, the Magic have had trouble scoring. And that could be the difference.
Connecting from deep
After some godawful team shooting from the three point line in the Mavericks’ first three games (shot 30.5 percent in those games), the Mavericks may have turned a corner.
Connecting on 41 percent of their three point attempts in their last three games, the Mavericks are making an impact from deep. And doing it at similar volume. It’s too early to say problems are solved, but this growth is definitely worth monitoring.
Continuing the streak?
Luka Doncic continues to amaze, absurdly putting up back to back 15 assist triple-doubles in his last two games. For the year he’s averaging 26 points, 10 rebounds and just nearly 10 assists. While also somehow posting the team’s best Defensive Box Plus-Minus at 2.0.
While I don’t necessarily advocate for a nightly triple-double watch, it’s undeniable Doncic has taken a large step forward and is locked in early. It’s too early in the season to make declarations, but he’s improving across the board. It’s jaw dropping, it’s exciting, we’re all very lucky.
How to watch
Tip off is set for 7:30 CT and can be watched on Fox Sports Southwest or NBA League Pass.