Magic Weekly Preview (Week 3)



MAGIC VS. KNICKS



Game Time Info:
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 13
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Amway Center (Orlando, FL)
Television: FS Florida

Last Season’s Results: The Magic struck first with a win at MSG before the Knicks racked up a pair of victories in the last two meetings.

Jan. 16: J.J. Redick posted 21 points and Hedo Turkoglu added 15 as the Magic cruised past the Knicks in New York.

March 28: Jameer Nelson recorded 17 points and J.J. Redick scored 15, but the Magic couldn’t prevent Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks from sailing to a victory.

April 5: Glen Davis had a solid night with 16 points, but New York’s balanced attack helped the Knicks glide to a win over Orlando.

Key Matchup: Glen Davis vs. Carmelo Anthony

Most of the time, Davis is battling down low with opponents that spend 99 percent of their time in the post. Recently, Big Baby has had to contend with the likes of Luis Scola, Carlos Boozer and Brooklyn’s monster duo of Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries.

But on Tuesday, Anthony, who has been moved to power forward for the Knicks temporarily as a result of the injury to Amar’e Stoudemire, will be one of the primary guys trying to stop Davis in the middle.

While it remains a mystery who exactly will match up with who on each end of the floor, it’s possible Davis will occasionally have to defend one of the premier scorers in the league. It’s feasible to believe that Jacque Vaughn will feature Josh McRoberts and Maurice Harkless a bit more to try and counter Anthony with greater quickness and athleticism.

Instant Analysis: The Knicks are the only remaining undefeated team in the NBA and despite critical injuries to Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert and key subtractions (Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields) they still are considered by some to be championship contenders this season.

New York relies profoundly on experience after signing veterans such as Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace, who both have championship rings. And naturally, Carmelo always is a nightmare to deal with.

While it will be a difficult challenge, the Magic believe they can end New York’s winning streak. Orlando showed some essential improvements in Brooklyn and especially if Jameer Nelson, who has missed the last five games as a result of a strained hamstring and groin, is able to return, it will have a strong chance to deny the Knicks from starting 5-0.

Other Notables: Rookies Kyle O’Quinn and Maurice Harkless grew up in New York. O’Quinn went to Campus Magnet High School in Queens, while Harkless went to South Kent School in Connecticut and spent last year at St. John’s.

MAGIC AT PISTONS



Game Time Info:
Date: Friday, Nov. 16
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Palace of Auburn Hills (Auburn Hills, MI)
Television: FS Florida

Last Season’s Results: The Pistons prevailed in the first two meetings in their building before the Magic got some revenge with a thumping over Detroit at Amway Center.

Jan. 2: The Magic had no answer for Detroit’s guards as the Pistons ran away with an 89-78 victory.

April 3: Glen Davis enjoyed one of his best performances of his career with 31 points and 10 rebounds but an injury plagued Magic team couldn’t overcome the Pistons.

April 9: Orlando dominated from start to finish as Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick combined for 38 points in the victory.

Key Matchup: Nikola Vucevic vs. Greg Monroe/Andre Drummond

Vucevic has been impressive in his first several games with the Magic – posting double digit scoring four times and double digit rebounding three times. Detroit features a pair of big men that present an assortment of challenges to any opponent, however.

Monroe has already developed into one of the best low-post players in the league, while Drummond, a promising rookie with tons of raw athleticism, has the potential to be a dominant big for many years.

This will be another opportunity for Vucevic to showcase his skills and prove he can grind with any of the other brawny centers around the league.

Instant Analysis: After playing the only team who hasn’t lost yet (Knicks), the Magic will play against one of the only teams who haven’t won yet. Going into Monday’s slate, only the Pistons and Wizards had not won a game yet.

However, Detroit is a formidable opponent and its losing streak is largely a result of its schedule (six of first seven games were on the road). Monroe and Brandon Knight provide many challenges.

It would be very encouraging for the Magic to notch their first road victory of the season to help boost their confidence.

Other Notables:Pistons Assistant Coach Charles Klask previously spent 10 years with the Magic as a video coordinator, advance scout and scouting information manager.

MAGIC AT RAPTORS



Game Time Info:
Date: Sunday, Nov. 18
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Air Canada Centre (Toronto, ON)
Television: FS Florida

Last Season’s Results: The Magic swept their three-game series with the Toronto Raptors.

Jan. 1, 2012: Orlando used a fourth-quarter surge to storm past Toronto for a 102-96 home win.

March 5, 2012: Two critical free throws from J.J. Redick sealed a 92-88 road victory for the Magic.

March 26, 2012: Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick and Glen Davis all scored in double figures as Orlando never trailed in its 117-101 triumph in Toronto.

Key Matchup: DeMar DeRozan vs. Arron Afflalo

If Toronto hopes to take a step forward this season, they’ll need DeMar DeRozan to be a key factor in leading the way.

The Raptors shooting guard has scored at least 22 points in three of Toronto’s six contests this season and is averaging 18 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

The Magic hope that Arron Afflalo will be able to limit the Raptors dynamic guard while continuing to be an effective scoring option.

Instant Analysis: The Raptors have won just one of their first six games and have yet to post a victory against an Eastern Conference foe.

Orlando’s defense will aim to stifle Toronto’s offense, which is shooting just 40.6 percent from the field, lowest in the East.

Other Notables:Hedo Turkoglu played for the Raptors during the 2009-10 season, averaging 9.5 points per game.