The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Orlando Magic 117-102. The Mavericks are now 6-1 on the season. This game was not always pretty as the Mavericks once again fell behind by 15 points in the first half. Kyrie Irving struggled to make shots early and Dereck Lively finally battled the foul trouble that everyone was concerned would limit him.
None of that mattered. The Mavericks battled back and absolutely obliterated the Magic late, resulting in a game that was both a clutch game and a 15 point victory. Here are the stats to know.
28: Points the Mavericks outscored the Magic by in the second half
The Mavericks dominated the second half in route to out scoring the Magic 64-36. Irving came alive and the team as a whole played fantastic defense. The Magic also remembered they can’t shoot which helped.
There has been much discussion about how “real” the Mavericks start is. It isn’t early in the sense that the Mavericks are not going to continue winning at this pace and finish 66-16. But it is real in the sense that the Mavericks are better in ways that materially matter. This team is more competitive and has the ability to defend in spurts. They also are willing to compete on the second night of back-to-backs. Those things matter.
21: Points for Tim Hardaway Jr.
Hardaway does some infuriating things defensively. However, he does not deserve all of the criticism he receives. He is flawed. That is why he comes off the bench and isn’t a star. But this team needs his scoring punch. The sixth man, microwave off the bench role is a tried and true NBA staple. Virtually none of those guys are ever good defenders. Be upset when Hardaway misses a rotation but understand the reason he’s in there is to make shots and he’s been doing that.
18: Points the Mavericks outscored the Magic by with Grant Williams on the court
Williams has been a revelation. I mentioned the Mavericks being more willing to compete, and no one is more emblematic of that change than Grant Williams. He is not a star and never will be, but he does so many little things well. He also adds in elite three point shooting from all over the court. The contract he signed this off-season is quickly looking like one of the biggest bargains in the league.
Overall, the Mavericks continue to roll and are now 6-1 on the season. Life couldn’t be much better.
You can listen to our latest podcast episode in the player embedded below, and to make sure you don’t miss a single one moving forward, subscribe to the Pod Maverick podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Pocketcasts, or Castbox.
You can check out our After Dark Recap podcasts, Spotify Live recordings, Moneyball Minute shows, and guest shows on the Pod Maverick Podcast feed. Please subscribe, rate, and review.