Mavs vs. Magic Preview

The new-look Dallas Mavericks play their third tough game since the break tonight at the Orlando Magic. Here’s the scoop from

Bet Mavericks vs. Magic

Dallas is listed as a six-point ‘dog at Brobury. ESPN will broadcast at 8 pm ET, right before Boston at Portland.

Dallas (33-21 SU, 22-32 ATS) lost at Oklahoma City (99-86) on Tuesday night before bouncing back with a home win (107-97) over Phoenix on Wednesday.

It was the first chance for fans to see the team after the blockbuster trade of Josh Howard for Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood. Howard had worn out his welcome and Butler is the better player anyhow.

Haywood is the new starting center after Erick Dampier had surgery on his finger.

Butler has only shot 10-of-32 (31.2 percent) in his first two games with Dallas. However, a lot of that is just getting integrated into the offense, and learning how to play with his teammates. Haywood had 10 points and nine rebounds against Phoenix.

Jason Terry had 17 points against the Suns as he gets used to the sixth man role once again. Having Terry come off the bench is a big lift to the second unit.

Magic peaking at the right time  

Orlando has the second best record in the East Conference at 37-18. They’re a decent 28-26-1 ATS.

Orlando was one of the hottest NBA teams before the break, going 11-3 SU and 8-6 ATS. One of those losses was at Cleveland. They’re 0-2 SU and ATS against the Cavs this year, the biggest roadblock for an NBA Finals repeat.

The Magic are 21-5 SU and 14-12 ATS at home. Their only game since the break was a 116-91 Wednesday home win over Detroit as 11-point favorites. Dwight Howard (18.2 PPG) had 33 points and he’s averaging 21.9 PPG in February.

Howard is finally becoming a more consistent offensive force down low, something needed to get by Cleveland. Vince Carter is shooting over 50 percent from the field this month after going 28.4 percent in January with his bum shoulder.

The road team is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings between the teams. The ‘over’ is 8-1 in the last nine meetings.

Can the new-look Mavs take down the mighty Magic?

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Posted: 2/19/10 12:58PM ET


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