Sneak Preview: Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks | Magic Basketball



Apr 01

Sneak Preview: Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “During last June’s NBA Finals, ESPN analyst Jon Barry noted that [Dwight] Howard often looked ‘mechanical’ on offense and lacked a go-to move. But Barry feels differently now. He thinks that Howard has made ‘tremendous strides.’ ‘It’s reactionary game,’ Barry explained. ‘So you have to make moves according to what your defense does. I just think he’s got a better feel for that. With his repertoire, he seems to have everything. I’ve seen right-hand hooks, left-hand hooks. I’ve even seen a face-up jump shot for the first time, although it’s used sparingly. Ask Tim Duncan how that’s worked for him over the last 15 years. As a post player, especially with the athleticism that he presents, it can open up so many doors for him. He will be absolutely unstoppable if he can make a face-up jump shot to force guys to come out on him.’ “
  • Tim McMahon of “The Mavs’ MVP has taught us that lesson many times over the years, snapping out of a shooting funk to dominate down the stretch of a Dallas win. His performance in the final few minutes of regulation in Wednesday’s win over the Grizzlies ranks as one of his most impressive performances in that category. Midway through the fourth quarter, Nowitzki had clanked his way to a 3-of-16 shooting performance. Then he hit five in a row to fuel the Mavs’ double-digit rally. […] Four of those buckets came during a 10-point flurry in the final 3:08, almost singlehandedly forcing overtime in a game Dallas seemed destined to lose. Dirk displayed an array of weapons during that scoring spree, starting it with a strong dropstep after catching the ball on the block, following that with a couple of catch-and-shoot 3s and capping it with one of those wild, contested fadeaways he knocks down at a ridiculously high rate.”
  • Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News: “The Mavericks pulled out their 50th victory of the season Wednesday night, and if it wasn’t the definition of stealing a game, it wasn’t far from it. Dirk Nowitzki, whose era is defined by 50-win seasons, fittingly knocked in a 15-foot jumper and four free throws late in overtime that secured a 106-102 stress test over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. It pushed the Mavericks’ record to 50-25, their 10th consecutive season with at least 50 wins. Only three other NBA franchises have had such a run of regular-season success: the Lakers (1980-91), the Celtics (1959-68) and the Spurs (2000-2009).”
  • Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game: “When Jason Terry missed five games while recovering from surgery to repair his orbital bone, plenty of his offensive opportunities went to Rodrigue Beaubois (who was plugged into the rotation using Terry’s suddenly available minutes) and Shawn Marion. Both performed brilliantly on offense given the extra shot attempts, but when JET returned to the lineup, I naturally assumed that the offense would revert to its usual balance. That would theoretically include Marion sliding back into his usual role as a primary defender and purely supplemental scorer, relying almost entirely on transition opportunities and backdoor cuts for his scoring possessions. Not quite so. While Marion’s FGAs have dipped since his notably high 16.2 in the five games without Terry, he’s settled in at 12.6 attempts for the 14 games in March. He’s also shooting his highest percentage from the field (56.8%) and averaging his highest monthly scoring average (15.6 PPG) excluding his three-game October.”
  • Mike Fisher of “10X50. How rare is this? You’ve got to be Magic’s Lakers or Russell’s Celtics or Duncan’s Spurs to be in this class. Immodestly I note that I understood it two years ago. Understanding it all along and especially at this moment? Two of the architects, Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson. […] ‘It’s rare air,’ Mavs GM Donnie Nelson told at the Watching Party at Star Power in Addison. ‘It’s not the ultimate goal. But it’s an important step to the ultimate goal – and we’ve stepped in that right direction 10 straight times.’ ”