(24-12) vs. (26-9)
Line: Mavericks by 5.5
Tickets: $28-$421 on TiqIQ
–The Magic defeated the Rockets at Amway Center on Friday night. It was another balanced attack from the Magic that notched the win along with a stellar third quarter. But it will be this upcoming road trip that will test how good this post-trade Magic team can be.
–Rick Carlisle said Dirk Nowitzki will not be ready to play tonight against the Magic. But if the team worries too much about that, they could become Orlando’s ninth consecutive win. It has been tough for Nowitzki to be on the sideline. Because the last time Dallas saw Orlando, the team was in its second game since the trade, now they are rolling.
–It would have been easy not to notice Dwight Howard’s absence from last night’s game with all the weapons the Magic have at their disposal, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com writes.
–Earl Clark gained some high praise from Stan Van Gundy last night. Don’t let his laid back demeanor fool you, as Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel reports, Clark is working as hard as anyone on the roster right now. The question is: can he mimic Brandon Bass’ success?
–Hedo Turkoglu has found his fit with the Magic, Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes.
–Tyson Chandler tells Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News he still considers Dwight Howard a power player despite his improvements. Chandler sees very little of Hakeem Olajuwon in Howard’s game, Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. Chandler can still hold his own though, and he is taking advantage of the extra shots available with Nowitzki and Butler out.
–The trades have killed Quentin Richardson’s minutes on the floor. But Q-Rich has not requested for a trade. As Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reports, Richardson would rather sit on the bench for a winning team than play for a losing team. For now, Richardson is fine being the other Richardson on the Magic.
–Gilbert Arenas is leading the Bench Mobb, a motley crew that pretends it is starting while the opponent is being introduced at Amway Center.
–The big surprise for Stan Van Gundy is how quickly the team has come together offensively. This is an unselfish crew, Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel writes.
–Marc Stein of ESPN.com named Dirk Nowitzki his MVP of the Trimester.
–Courtney Lee received a hero’s welcome from the Orlando crowd last night.
–We can all agree Dwight Howard is the best center in the league, yes?
–Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook breaks down a late play in Thursday’s game where the Mavericks failed to make a good rotation on the pick and roll. Look for this tonight.