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What to watch for as the Mavericks return home to face Orlando

What to watch for as the Mavericks return home to face Orlando

The Dallas Mavericks return home to take on the Orlando Magic (6-3) on Saturday night. The Mavs come into this game looking to get over .500 for the first time this season and pick up their third straight win. Orlando will be on the second night of a back-to-back after losing in Houston on Friday night. 

Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon both missed Friday’s game and are listed as questionable for Saturday night. 

Since Luka Doncic entered the league, Dallas is 4-2 against the Magic including a 122-106 win during the 2019-20 season. Luka put together a 33-10-8 line in the win. 

Is it Wes Iwundu time in Dallas? 

On Friday evening, it was announced that a Dallas player tested positive for COVID-19 before their flight to return home from Denver. Coach Rick Carlisle stayed in Denver along with three players (the player that tested positive plus two others due to contact tracing).

Later on in the evening, it was announced Dorian Finney-Smith, Jalen Brunson and Josh Richardson will all be out against the Magic. 

Wes Iwundu has only appeared in four out of the first 8 games this season and only played limited minutes in those games. However, he should have an opportunity to play a huge role against his former team on Saturday. 

Wes, the Texas native, spent three years in Orlando playing roughing around 17 minutes a game. After shooting 19% from three his rookie season, Iwundu improved to 36% in 2018 and last year he shot 34.7% from three-point range. 

Who gets the backup point guard minutes? 

With Brunson already ruled out and the status of Trey Burke unknown, the only other point guard on the roster is rookie Tyrell Terry, who has only played 12 minutes this season. When Luka isn’t on the court, it will be interesting to see who is doing the majority of the ball handling. 

Assessing Orlando on the defensive end

The Magic come into Saturday’s game with a 6-3 record and its not hard to find out why when you look at their defensive numbers. They rank third in the NBA in opponent three-point percentage against (32.3%), 7th in opponent free throws against (19.1) and 3rd in defensive rating (104.4). 

Staff writer covering the Dallas Cowboys | Grew up in Plano, Texas. Graduated from Plano east in 2009, graduated from American broadcasting school in 2011. Big time DFW sports fan. Once went to Shawn Marions pool party the summer the Mavs won the championship.

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