Team Records: Orlando (10-24) at Portland (26-9)
Game Info: 7 PM, TV on CSNNW, Radio on 620 AM
Vegas Line: Portland -13
Refs: Ken Mauer, Steve Anderson, Kevin Scott
The Skinny: The Blazers look to break out of their current funk as they welcome the Magic to town in a game Portland should win but the way they have been playing lately, who knows? The Magic have lost four in a row and are 0-5 on the road so far against the west this season.
Last season: The two teams split the season series, with each winning at home. Portland has won four of the last six overall against the Magic.
Projected Magic Lineup:
PF: Glen Davis (LSU-7th Season) – 13.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.7 APG
SF: Tobias Harris (Tennessee-3rd Season) – 11.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.3 APG.
C: Nikola Vucevic (USC-3rd Season) – 13 PPG, 11 RPG, 1.9 APG
SG: Arron Afflalo (UCLA-7th Season) – 20.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 4.5 APG
PG: Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph’s-10th Season) – 12.7 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 6.2 APG
Player to Watch: Tobias Harris (pictured at right) – This was supposed to be Harris’s breakout season, the year he took his solid gains from last year and made himself a budding star. It hasn’t exactly worked out that way for him. Following a season debut that was repeatedly delayed due to nagging injuries, Haris has been less than stellar when he has played. His shooting, in particular, is down and he just doesn’t seem to have the ability he showed either of his first two seasons. Harris might yet get it back but for now, he’s struggling through a bit of a junior slump.
Did You Know?: The all-time most points scored by any Orlando player against the Blazers was 41 by Shaq on March 2, 1996 as part of a lopsided 115-89 Magic win.
Song of the Day: “Original Orlando Magic Theme Song” by the Orlando Magic. This is one of the better theme songs out there and deserves a listen. Enjoy:
Orlando: Out-PG Ronnie Price (Sinus), Questionable-C Nikola Vucevic (Concussion)
Its not that the Magic don’t try hard, they mostly do. Its that they aren’t very talented and it shows. Beyond Oladipo, the Magic don’t exactly have a lot to build on either. The Magic are decent on defense, ranking right around the middle of the league in defensive efficiency. However, on offense they are mostly awful. The Magic are near the bottom of the league (24th to be exact) in offensive efficiency and there is nothing on offense they do particularly well. Put it this way, there is a reason Orlando is 1-16 when allowing 100 or more points. If they are to win, the Magic require you to have an off night so they can score just enough points to barely eek out a low-scoring win.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: Play their game. Portland has gotten away from the style that led them to a hot start this season. If they can get back to it Wednesday, they should win.
Orlando wins if: They hold Portland under 90 points. Orlando needs to hope Portland has another off night to have a reasonable chance of winning this game. Even then, that may not be enough.