The Dallas Mavericks (5-4) play the second night of a back-to-back as they travel to Orlando for a date with the Orlando Magic (4-5).
The Game at Hand:
Dallas road woes continued against the Miami Heat on Friday night as they lost 110-104. Dallas is undefeated at home with a record of 4-0. However, the road has been a different story as they are currently 1-4, with their only victory coming against the Milwaukee Bucks 91-83.
The Magic could possibly help the Mavericks figure some things out tonight. Dallas has won the last seven meetings against Orlando in Orlando and the Mavericks are 4-0 this year against teams with losing records. In those games, Dallas has won by an average of 12.3 points per game. Currently the Mavericks are 1-3 in the first game of a back-to-back and 2-1 in the second game. They have yet to be swept in back-to-back games this season.
Orlando is coming off a game, though, in which they had to rally from 19 points down to win. Arron Afflalo had a career-high 36 points in the win against the Bucks. Orlando is averaging 99.9 points per game as opposed to 106.4 for Dallas.
Three Keys of the Night
1. Limit the Turnovers: Dallas had a season high 24 turnovers in the loss to Miami on Friday. Dallas is averaging 17.2 turnovers a game and 19.2 on the road. The Magic are only forcing 14.4 turnovers a game. Do not give them extra chances by turning the ball over.
2. Rebound: On Friday night the Mavericks only grabbed 34 rebounds, which was nine rebounds less than their average. Tonight they face a team that is averaging 46.2 rebounds, which is four more than the Mavs. DeJuan Blair and Sam Dalembert will have to secure the paint and make sure they win the rebounding battle.
3. Start fast: Including Friday night, Dallas has scored 30 points in the opening quarter in seven of their first nine games. They are averaging 30.7 points in the first quarter this season as opposed to 25.7 during the 2012-2013 season. Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki both played heavy minutes against the Heat so it would be nice to get a big lead and maintain it so those players can be rested tonight. It’s early in the season but Coach Carlisle doesn’t want to run the minutes up of anyone on his team.
- Matchup of the Night: Monta Ellis vs Arron Affalo
As previously stated, Affalo had a career-high in points during his last outing. The Magic shooting guard is averaging 21.3 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1 steal a game. Ellis is leading the Mavs in scoring with 22.2 points. He’s also chipping in 4.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals a game. This matchup should be fun to watch on both ends of the floor.
“Our effort was good. The turnovers doomed us.” – Rick Carlisle about the Miami game.
“If we go out and compete every night at this high level and turn our turnovers down, we can beat anybody in this league,” – Monta Ellis
Tonight’s game can be seen at 6:00 pm on FSSW.