This is always a tough trip regardless of who the team is doing it, as the back half of the Sunshine State swing is always one of the most brutal trips that any team has to make. Orlando has been the beneficiary of a team coming to the Amway Center a night after playing the Miami Heat five times this year, and it is 4-1 SU and ATS in those five clashes. Last night wasn’t pretty to say the least. The Mavericks were crippled 106-85 in South Beach in a game that was never really all that competitive in the second half. It was the second straight very poor offensive game for the team, and it also marked the fifth straight game in which the squad didn’t put up more than 93 points in regulation (though it did put 101 on the Houston Rockets when you include overtime last weekend). Once again, Dirk Nowitzki was really all that the Mavs had to bring to the table last night. He scored 25 points, but the rest of the starting lineup really was nothing to write home about.
The Magic have to be seething after their 108-86 loss at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks on Wednesday night. They were great in the first quarter, but after that, the offense and the defense both seemingly shut down simultaneously, and New York was able to build a lead that nearly stretched out to 40 points. Some hot shooting by JJ Redick in garbage time cut that lead into the high teens for a bit of time, but in the end, the game was never competitive again. To make matters worse for the Magic, it was also a game in which Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin didn’t play, and Carmelo Anthony was hobbled by a groin injury. The last time that the Magic played like this was in an 85-59 loss at home to the Chicago Bulls on March 19th. They rolled off three straight double digit victories and both won and covered all three games before going up to the Big Apple and getting hammered by the Knicks.
The Final Word: Orlando has every reason to get back in the win column in this one, and we expect that it is going to do just that in resounding fashion. Perhaps getting crushed by the Heat and getting the starters out of the fold for a good chunk of the fourth quarter will help preserve Dallas just a bit, but in the end, it isn’t going to make all that much of a difference. Orlando should take this one by double digits.
Dallas Mavericks @ Orlando Magic Free Pick: Orlando Magic -5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.