• Somewhat surprisingly, they are a fast-break team primarily. In the halfcourt, guards will spot up and look for kick out pass from post or ball reversal/skip pass on perimeter. Mavs must be aware of Anderson, Jason Richardson and Turkoglu. The rest of the team generally shoots quick threes off ball movement and screens.
• Can play to pace. Slow the game down and Richardson can give you some isolation while Howard has a much improved low post game.
• Will run Mid and Side pick-and-rolls with Nelson/Howard in order to get Howard in the post. Howard has developed as a receiver in the pick-and-roll:
• If they get it into the post, other players do a good job on the perimeter to maintain spacing and looking for kick out.
• Very good in transition due to their spaced offense. Guards get back and post run well to chase the break.
• Dwight Howard is a remarkable athlete, and covers a lot of ground. Blocks basically anything he can get to in time. However, he is foul prone if you can get to his body.
• Their posts are very good on defending pick-and-rolls and the post. They will show/help on ball screens.
• Must make Turkoglu play defense. He is by far the weakest their of perimeter defenders.
• Orlando is 4th in Opp. PPG at 92.2
• The Mavs have won five straight at Orlando
• Orlando is 3rd in 3pt FG% at 38.4
• The Mavs have lost nine of 11 away from home and have given up an average of 104.2 points over their last six road games
• Orlando is 30th in FT% at 68.3
• Dirk Nowitzki missed all five of his fourth-quarter shots in last night's loss at Miami.
• Orlando has split its last eight games - all decided by double digits - with the four defeats coming by an average of 17.3 points.
How to Beat the Magic:
• ATTACK - Force Howard to play on-ball defense. Don't let him guard the paint area, because that is where he's most dangerous. (This is why, while the return of Haywood tonight is helpful, it's mostly helpful on the defensive end only.) Penetrate with guards. Drive inside and attack Howard. Now, those are X-and-O issues. Also worth watching is the psychological issue with Howard and the Magic:
• BENCH - The Orlando bench is very thin. Mavs must use their advantage in this area especially inside.
• CHASE THEM OFF THE 3PT LINE - Close out on shooters. Lots of offensive threats on the perimeter.
Kyle Leath, a long-time Mavs staffer, former college head coach and now scout for the Denver Nuggets, provides you with an NBA-style scouting report before Mavs games. Again, catch Fish, Dana Larson and Bob Ortegel for the Fox Sports Southwest Dallas Mavericks pregame show at 6:30 p.m. before they hand it to Mark Followill and Derek Harper for the play-by-play!