Dallas Mavericks: Numbers to Know Ahead of Matchup With Magic
By Jay Knodell
The Dallas Mavericks look for their third win in a row when they host Orlando. Here are some numbers to know ahead of the matchup with the Magic.
After losing six of eight games, the Dallas Mavericks have won two straight. The overtime win over the Denver Nuggets wasn’t spectacular, but the Mavericks did get a rare blowout win over the Minnesota Timberwolves their last time out.
The Mavericks are at a stage where, at 32-28 and sitting in sixth place in the western conference, every game has a must-win element. Because while Dallas’ chances of making the postseason remain strong, moving up to the fifth-seed is their best chance of making it out of the first round and avoiding the 7th or 8th seed (i.e., the Warriors or Spurs) is of utmost importance.
Up next for the Mavericks is the Orlando Magic, a team that beat Dallas in Orlando 10 days ago. The Mavericks were down by as many as 21 points in the first half of that game, and led by as many as 14 before losing in overtime.
Here are some numbers to know before tip-off.
The Mavericks hit a franchise record 19 three-pointers in their loss to Orlando, and their accuracy from outside was a big reason they were able to get back into the game. Dallas has averaged 13 made threes in their last five games (39%), helping them score over 117 points per over that span. Orlando has given up the eighth-most three-pointers in the league this season (531) and opponents shoot just under 36% against them. Dallas should have their opportunities again from outside, they’ll need to knock them down.
The Mavericks were out-rebounded by a wide margin in their last meeting with Orlando, and their struggles on the glass overall are well documented. The Mavericks are 30th, as in dead last, in opponent defensive rebounds per game. Along those same lines, Dallas is 27th in offensive rebounds per night. To have any real success down the stretch in the regular season and in postseason play, the team must be better on the boards. Recently signed forward David Lee has already helped in that regard, averaging 11.5 total rebounds in his last two games. He grabbed seven offensive rebounds en route to his first double-double in over a year against the Nuggets. Lee wasn’t yet with the team for the last meeting, we’ll see what kind of a difference he makes this time around.
The Orlando Magic have given up 113.0 points per game since the All-Star break, up from 100.8 before. Their last six opponents have all reached triple digits fairly easily, including the woeful Philadelphia 76ers – the lowest scoring team in the league at 96.4 per – twice (116 and 115). Dallas has had their problems, but recently scoring hasn’t been one of them. They averaged just under 110 points per game in February. The Mavericks should be able to put points on the board, so expect a high scoring affair.
Next: Dallas Mavericks Week 18 Game Changer Report
The game tips off at 7:30 pm ct. Make sure to follow us @thesmokingcuban for in-game updates, analysis, and highlights.