Shootaround report: Fast start tops Mavs' priority list against Magic
Shootaround report: Magic (15-38) at Mavericks (23-29)
Fast start tops Mavs' priority list against Magic
DALLAS — After watching his team gut out a 111-105 road win over the Orlando Magic back on Jan. 20, one thing is for certain according to Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle as the two teams get set to square off for a second time Wednesday night in Dallas: the Mavs must get off to a better start.
Falling behind 18-4 out of the gate during that meeting last month, the Mavericks (23-29) admittedly expended a lot of energy fighting their way back into the game before eventually claiming a win on the Magic’s home floor. Wednesday night, however, the Mavs will try to make things easier for themselves by getting off to a better start.
“It’s very important, and we’ve struggled all year starting games. In fact, we’re the worst team in the league in the first six minutes of the game,” Carlisle confessed. “So it’s a challenge we’ve got to take on and we’ve got to do better with it. It’s both sides of the ball. It’s efficiency, rebounding, defense, it’s every facet, and it’s a challenge that’s an important one, because playing from behind is difficult in this league.”
Carlisle’s message is directly tied to his starting unit, which has changed a league-high 18 times this season. And with the Mavs hoping to improve upon an 11-2 mark at home this season when catching the opposition on the second night of a back-to-back, getting off to a quick start is priority No. 1 for the Dallas starters as Orlando staggers into the American Airlines Center following Tuesday’s 105-92 loss to league-worst Charlotte.
“Our energy is going to be big for this game," explained point guard Daren Collison. “We know they’re coming off a back-to-back, so our energy is real important. We’ve got to start off from the first five minutes and try to get a lead going our way.”
“We’ve got to start the game and get some stops,” four-time All-Star Shawn Marion added. “I think with the team that we have it kind of takes us a little while to get our activity up, but we’ve got to start off better and we’ve got to try and make this last run.”
Note: The Mavs return to action Wednesday night at home against the Orlando Magic. The Mavs lead the season series between the two teams after a 111-105 win in Orlando back on Jan. 20. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.
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