Team Records: Portland (45-26) at Orlando (19-52)
Game Info: 4 PM, TV on CSNNW, Radio on 620 AM
Vegas Line: Portland -5
Refs: Ron Garretson, Steve Anderson, Sean Corbin
The Skinny: No use crying over spilled milk or the latest Portland tight loss. Back to work for Portland as they face the tanking Magic on the road in a game they really need to win. Orlando has lost nine in a row heading into tonight and their only two wins in the last month are against the Sixers. There are no excuses tonight, just win.
Last Time They Met: Thomas Robinson woke the Blazers up just in time to storm back in the fourth and take a win. Aldridge led Portland with 39 points.
Projected Magic Lineup:
PF: Kyle O’Quinn (Norfolk State-2nd Season) – 5.4 PPG, 5 RPG, 1.1 APG
SF: Maurice Harkless (St. John’s-2nd Season) – 7.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG, .9 APG.
C: Nikola Vucevic (USC-3rd Season) – 13.9 PPG, 10.9 RPG, .8 APG
SG: Arron Afflalo (UCLA-7th Season) – 19.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.5 APG
PG: Victor Oladipo (Indiana-Rookie) – 14 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.3 APG
Player to Watch: Victor Oladipo (pictured at right) – I first saw Oladipo in the 2012 NCAA tournament in Portland, where honestly he seemed the better player when compared next to the much more heralded Cody Zeller. It has proven so in the NBA so far as Oladipo has been one of a few bright spots in a down draft class. Oladipo makes his mark on defense first, and is a very good defensive player. However, it would be a mistake to overlook his offensive talents, which include plenty of dunking and passing. He turns the ball over too much but he will likely improve that with time. For now, Oladipo is but one of a few bright spots for a horrible Magic team.
Did You Know?: The Orlando Magic have an average age of 25 years and 28 days, which ranks as the third-youngest roster in the NBA.
Song of the Day: “A Whole New World” from the Movie Aladdin. In honor of Portland being in Disney World’s home city, I present my favorite Disney song of all time. Enjoy:
Portland: Out-PF/C Joel Freeland (Knee), Doubtful-PF LaMarcus Aldridge (Back)
Orlando: Out-PG Jameer Nelson (Knee)
Re-Evaluating Orlando: Well at Least They’re Not Philly?
To do a take on a quote from the movie “Anapolis”, “Magic fans, you know whom their favorite team is? Philadelphia. Cause Philadelphia’s the only thing that keeps the Magic from being the worst team in the whole league. Yes the Magic are awful, yes its not going to get better anytime soon but they are not as bad off as some teams. Look at Philadelphia for example, which beyond Michael Carter-Williams has basically a D-league roster. They’re better off than that at least.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: Play their game. Portland has gotten away from the style that has worked for them. If they can get back to it Tuesday, 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.