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3 things to watch as the Dallas Mavericks host the Orlando Magic

A bounce back game would be nice

NBA: Preseason-Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks (2-3) host the Orlando Magic (1-5) Sunday night, with a nice and early 6:30 pm CST tip off. The Mavericks are playing a mere 20 hours after suffering a humiliating defeat in overtime to the Oklahoma City Thunder whereas the Magic are coming off their first win of the season Friday, beating the Charlotte Hornets 113-93.

Let’s get right to the things to watch

Dallas Mavericks body language

In what will be their third game in four nights, the Dallas Mavericks take the floor against the Magic after suffering a loss that boggles the mind. Jason Kidd seemed to have a point to make, between his bad rotations and unwillingness to call a timeout during a fourth quarter run by the Thunder, which led to an overtime where the Mavericks got waxed. His postgame comments bordered on nonsense, which makes how his team looks in this game really worth keeping an eye on.

The minutes totals in the loss were inexcusable; up 16 with six minutes left, Kidd ended up playing all of his starters (sans Dwight Powell) 35 or more minutes in an overtime contest. If these guys all have dead legs, remember how much they’ve played the past several games.

Will JaVale McGee play with a purpose?

As of this writing, I am assuming JaVale McGee is going to play. The Mavericks opted to give him a rest day after the grueling 51 minutes he’d played to date in the previous four games. He must’ve been exhausted. It explains why he wasn’t on the bench until after halftime or so.

Either way, perhaps he’ll feel refreshed and up to living up to any part of the contract he signed with the Mavericks in the off season. You know the one, the three year deal for a 34 year old journeyman here he wanted to be starter. Dallas elected to sit him Saturday night and perhaps he got a good view of what simply playing hard will do for his statistical output by watching Dwight Powell, a far less physically gifted player, do in limited minutes with Luka Doncic. We can dare to dream, because the Mavericks will need a big body against the Magic.

The Magic start a ton of length

Orlando is dealing with a lot of injury problems and they don’t have any true point guards available to play as of this writing. Terrance Ross technically ran the offense with Franz Wagner, Bol Bol, Wendell Carter Jr., and rookie sensation Paulo Banchero rounding out the starting five. That’s some big men! R.J. Hampton plays some minutes for them but go through their last box score. It’s all bigs! It’s wild.

The Mavericks should win this one. But they also should’ve beaten the Thunder. Just keep this length in mind if things get out of hand for the Mavericks. It might help keep Orlando in it, but that lack of guard skill could also be why Dallas runs away with things or has a chance to fight back.

How to watch

Check out this game on Bally Sports Southwest at 6:30 pm CST.