Kelvin Korner - 01/05/11


By Britt Clement
01/05/11

Kelvin Sampson lent his analysis on the Magic, "The first time we played Orlando was pre-trade, number one and number two, their two leading scorers, Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson, were out."

In that game the Bucks came away with a 96-85 win as just eight players were available to the Magic. Orlando's roster has been reshaped since then as Gilbert Arenas, Earl Clark, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu are all in the fold now.

"Since they've made their trades they've become maybe the most versatile team in the league, Sampson said. "The reason I say that is Hedo Turkoglu. They can play him at the two, three or the four. If they want to go big they can play him at the three and play Brandon Bass or (Ryan) Anderson at the four. If they want to be the most difficult matchup in the league they can play Turkoglu at the four, Jason Richardson at the three and Arenas or J.J. Redick at the two and Jameer Nelson at the one.

"They can go so many different ways and Stan Van Gundy does a great job of spacing the floor around Dwight Howard. They'll give you a ton of different looks it all revolves around Dwight Howard in the middle. Even their pick and roll game the dive him into the dotted line and restricted area and post him up. They've always got four shooters around him."

Through Sunday's games the Magic are 12th in the league by shooting 36.9 percent from 3-point land. But that doesn't tell the whole story as Orlando is second in the league in both makes (8.97) and attempts (24.33), just barely trailing New York at 9.06 and 24.36. It's clear that the Magic aren't afraid to dial long distance.

Sampson discussed how you need to defend the Magic. "We've got to do a great job of keeping the ball in front of us and challenging shots. We're not going to keep them from shooting the three, but we have to make sure that we challenge those shots.

"Then there are going to be a lot of long rebounds and 50/50 balls and we have to make sure that we get those. We also have to make sure that we keep Bogues out of foul trouble. There are a lot of things we have to do well in this game, but those are some of them."

On the other end of the floor, you have to worry about Dwight Howard. Sampson noted "Defensively, you can get to the middle and even beat them off the dribble at some positions, but where are you going? You've got Dwight Howard at the rim protecting the basket."

Howard is third in the league with 2.5 blocks per game, the Bucks Andrew Bogut leads the league with 2.8 blocks each night.

It's two tough contests for the Bucks on back-to-back nights as Miami and Orlando hold the league's longest active winning streaks at five through Sunday's games.