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Previewing Dallas Mavericks at Orlando Magic: The return of Tha Rippla?

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The Mavericks will have to earn their win against an Orlando team that is good on paper but bad in reality.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What has Orlando done lately?

The Magic have lost. A lot. They've lost their last seven games and are 15-34 on the season. All the losing has apparently began to rattle the front office. Jacque Vaughn, in his third year as Orlando's coach, is rumored to be on his way out. Scott Skiles has been mentioned as his likely replacement. However, Vaughn is still the coach for now but his time is limited.

What are the Magic's biggest strength and weakness?

The continued losing leads one to believe that there aren't many strengths to this team. You'd be right to believe that. But, Orlando ranks eighth in the league in defensive rebounding. This can be attributed to the presence of Nikola Vucevic. He ranks sixth in the league in defensive rebounds and averages eight defensive boards per game. Vucevic also ranks fifth in total rebounds, pulling down 11.3 per game.

Besides Vucevic, The Mavs have a handful of players they need to check. Tobias Harris, Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, Rising Stars and Sprite Slam Dunk competitor Victor Oladipo, and everyone's old friend, Channing Frye. These are their strengths. Orlando really doesn't do much well but they have players that can hurt any team. They hoist shots at an amazing rate. Some are bound to splash, right? Sadly, nothing is clicking for this team.

Which Mavericks player might be due for a big game?

I'll be the first to tell you that I've been harsh on Charlie Villanueva. By all accounts, he's a great human being. My personal visual accounts of the locker room let me know that he gives Chandler Parsons a run for his money for bested dressed in street clothes. Yet, I was still a hater. I'm sorry, Charlie. Look, what Villanueva did Friday night, 20 points (!!!) (6-11 on 3s)(!!!!!!), and you know why he made the roster. Will his moment in the spotlight fade? Probably. That's how Carlisle rolls. However, Tha Rippla is back! Shine on, Charlie V. Shine on. Have a great game.

What do the Mavs need to do to be successful against Orlando?

First off, they need to not play like they did against Miami in the first half. Let's all forget that experience. It was trying to say the least. Looking at the team stats of the Magic, the Mavs should just show up and they should win. It's never that easy, though. This is an NBA team, after all.

The Magic don't do anything particularly well other than rebound. They give up near-league-worst stats in every category. Dallas just needs to show up. It won't be a cake walk. They played last night in Miami so their legs should be tired. But, on paper they are much better. The Mavs need to get out and run off turnovers. They tried to do that during the first half of last night's game but mental errors stood in their way. This team thrives off turnovers, they're first in the NBA averaging 19.6 points off turnovers, and Orlando is prone to fumbling possessions.

Oh, a healthy Chandler Parsons is also important. He's from Orlando, or at least near there. Remember that trash club Cuban found him in? Parsons is home. Hopefully he's healthy enough to play in front of his friends and family.