The Orlando Magic (1-5) is looking to build a winning streak on Sunday when the team faces the Dallas Mavericks (2-2).
To find out more about the discount, we talked to him Dallas Basketball Editor-in-chief Dalton Trig to get more insight into Sunday’s game.
1. The Mavericks works for Luka Doncic, but does not have his backcourt partner from last year’s Jalen Bronson. Spencer Dinwiddy took on the role of completing Doncic. How has this pairing worked so far?
From a raw stats perspective, it’s worked out great so far. Doncic averages 36.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 9.3 assists, and 2.0 steals in 35.9 minutes. So he’s averaging more points than minutes per game at this point, while still having to find a three-point hit, which is crazy to think about.
Dinwiddie does what he’s supposed to do as the team’s minor ball player with an average of 16.3 points and 3.8 assists per game, roughly the same as Bronson’s average last season for Dallas. He shoots 51.1 percent of the field, including 56.5 percent unconscious from depth.
There is no doubt about the duo Doncic And Dinwiddie do well together, but it’s the third ballpark round on the list that will be in question for most of this season. It’s still hard to believe that the Mavs didn’t try harder to sign Goran Dragic or Dennis Smith Jr.
2. Christian Wood is a new addition to the list. How did it look in the first part of the year?
Wood is the favorite for this year’s sixth man. The net hits 21 points, eight rebounds and 1.3 assists in just 25.8 minutes per game. Like Dinwiddie, his efficiency has been unrealistic thus far, shooting 61.9 percent overall and 66.7 percent off the arc through four games.
This kind of shoot can’t last for an entire season, of course, but Wood proved to be a perfect fit in Dallas. His offensive versatility as a large pairs well with Doncic’s skill set. If he keeps it up, coach Jason Kidd will have no choice but to start facing JaVale McGee…and honestly, that probably should have happened from the first game of the season.
3. The Mavericks reached the Western Conference Finals last season. Can the Mavs make it even more so this year?
Although Bronson’s loss was a huge blow, Wood’s addition, Dinwiddie’s role increase and Tim Hardaway Jr’s return give the Mavs a higher ceiling than last year’s team, and early returns support that despite Dallas only having a 2-2 record. The two losses came by two points each, and Doncic had the chance to win both games but came in by a narrow margin.
The team could be pretty good right now if a couple were to make their way in Phoenix and New Orleans. Doncic and Wood thrive even though they’ve only played four games together, so you have to imagine things will be better for Dallas as that chemistry continues to thrive.
4. The Mavs strongly prefer Sunday. If they lose to magic, how will that happen?
Look no further than what happened to the Mavs in New Orleans on Tuesday night. The Pelicans were without Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Herb Jones, yet they managed to beat Dallas 113-111 at Smoothie King Center. It was a typical case of a team not taking their opponent seriously enough after discovering that their best players would not be available.
The MAFS defense has given up averaging 119 points per game in the last two games while only giving up 101.5 in the first two games. They should deserve two defensive tuning games.
5. What is your expectation for the game?
Having Dallas on night two of a back-to-back game is tough, but I would still expect them to pull this home in double digits assuming Doncic and the other key players are available to play. Orlando Young and talented, he stole a match from the Mavs last season the same way the Pelicans did earlier this week.
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