Short-Handed Dallas Mavericks Kickstart Final Road Trip in Orlando
By Michael Mulford
As the end of the season is just a week away, Dallas begins their final road trip against the Magic.
Following an impressive victory against the playoff bound Portland Trail Blazers last night, the Mavs look to extend that effort to tonight’s game against the Orlando Magic.
The Dallas bench was huge in their win against the Blazers as Rick Carlisle was experimenting with playing the younger, less-experienced guys late in the fourth quarter.
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Tonight against the Magic, we’ll continue to see a lot of the Mavs bench as Dirk, DSJ, Barnes, and Powell will all sit out in Orlando. Rick mentioned Dennis would sit following last night’s victory due to some soreness in his knee.
For Dirk, he’ll rest the entire three-game road trip before finishing up the season next Tuesday at home against the Phoenix Suns.
The Magic find themselves in the middle of a six-game stretch against all lottery bound teams. Currently, the Mavs and Magic are neck-and-neck in the fourth and fifth spot in the lottery standings.
To win tonight’s game, the Mavs will have to slow down the duo of Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic in the paint. And we can’t forget D.J. Augustin and Mo Speights, who both seem to always light up the Mavericks in every meeting.
With Dirk, DSJ, and Barnes out of the lineup, look for J.J. and Yogi to lead the charge as well as extended minutes for Doug McDermott, which Mavs fans would love to see. Since the All-Star break, McBuckets is shooting 55.7% from downtown and looks to have found a potential long-term home in this Mavericks system.
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Tonight will also come as a good opportunity for Mavs fans to scout potential free agents in Aaron Gordon and Mario Hezonja. Both Magic players are restricted free agents this summer and could possibly receive some interest from the Mavericks come July.