Insider: Orlando preps for Dallas

Defense will be key for the Magic during Sunday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Magic have allowed nine of their 11 opponents to score 100 or more points in the past 11 games. While the Mavericks have averaged a little over 110 points in the last five games. Having that said the Magic’s defense will have to be solid from start to finish if they want win.

The Magic’s defense has been inconsistent lately, which is not what fans were seeing earlier this season. Glen Davis’ return will help them tremendously going forward.  They’ve shown in the past weeks that they can play well against good teams like the Heat, Knicks, and Clippers. They just need to play consistent from start to finish every game.

“We’re just still maturing as a group on how to [play at a high level] night in and night out,” said Arron Afflalo after Friday’s loss to the Bobcats.

Both teams have struggled with finishing strong at the end of games. Both teams have put themselves in position to win most games but struggle at the end of games. The Magic have lost six out of the last 14 games by fours points or less. While the Mavericks have dropped eight out of nine overtime games this season.

Glen Davis and Jameer Nelson both headed to the locker room during Friday night’s game because of injuries.

Davis headed into the locker room grabbing the right side of his lower back. He returned to the game but it was clear the ‘Big Baby’ wasn’t feeling 100 percent. Davis will start against the Mavericks Sunday night. He doesn’t want to miss any more games. After Saturday’s practice he said that he missed too many games and that he won’t let a sore back keep him from playing.

Jameer Nelson left with a minute left in the game Friday night with a sore left hip. He did not participate in the Magic’s practice on Saturday, but did participate in shootaround Sunday morning. All signs point to Nelson starting Sunday night against the Mavericks.

Nelson has missed 9 games this season due to various injuries. When Nelson is in the lineup the Magic are 13-17, but when he’s not they are 1-8.

For live updates follow me on Twitter: @marypazstevens

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