Magic Weekly Preview (Week 5)



MAGIC VS. SPURS



Game Time Info:
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 28
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Amway Center (Orlando, FL)
Television: FS Florida

Last Season’s Results: The Magic played the Spurs tough in both contests, but San Antonio managed to prevail in each.

Jan. 18: J.J. Redick buried a straightaway 3-pointer at the end of overtime that would have won the game for Orlando, but it was ruled that the shot was released after the final buzzer as San Antonio snuck past the Magic.

March 14: The Magic got 25 points from Jameer Nelson, but despite an offensive eruption from Orlando, it didn’t have the defense to prevent San Antonio from winning at home.

Key Matchup: Jameer Nelson vs. Tony Parker

It’s been a trend throughout his career, but Nelson typically plays above his norm when he goes head to head with other elite point guards. For instance against Rajon Rondo on Sunday, Nelson poured in 20 points and almost single-handedly pulled Orlando out of an early hole.

Considering there are so many outstanding floor generals, Nelson’s motivation to compete against the best is frequent. It will be no different on Wednesday when Tony Parker comes to town. The point guard that has more success in this game may dictate which team wins.

Instant Analysis: Sunday’s defeat, despite a resilient and relentless effort, was devastating. But a victory against San Antonio will quickly erase that loss from everyone’s minds.

Orlando is in the midst of arguably its toughest, most grueling stretch of the season. Wins against championship contenders like the Spurs would go a long way in helping boost the Magic’s confidence.

Other Notables: On March 17, 2010, Orlando held Tim Duncan to his worst shooting performance of his illustrious career. Duncan finished 1-for-10 from the field.

 

MAGIC VS. NETS



Game Time Info:
Date: Friday, Nov. 30
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Amway Center (Orlando, FL)
Television: FS Florida

Recent Results: The Magic and Nets have already played twice this season with Brooklyn winning both those contests.

Nov. 9: The Magic couldn’t get into any sort of offensive rhythm as the Nets rolled at Amway Center.

Nov. 11: Despite a much more determined effort; the Magic still couldn’t solve the Nets as Brooklyn triumphed at home.

Key Matchup: Nikola Vucevic vs. Brook Lopez

It’s no secret anymore that Lopez is at full strength and he is perhaps the best, most fundamentally skilled big man in the NBA. Vucevic has had the opportunity to match up against him twice already this season and perhaps the third try will be a success.

It’s imperative to try and limit Lopez’ inside abilities as most opponents this season have had a hard time doing. But if Nik and his teammates can make it more difficult for him to get his shots off, the Magic will be in a greater position to win.

Instant Analysis: Since it will be the final game of this homestand before they head out West for five games, it would be a huge momentum lift if the Magic can win on Friday.

It would also allow Orlando to earn some revenge after losing twice to Brooklyn earlier this month. The Magic have looked far more in sync and have developed stronger chemistry since these two teams met last. If that proves to be accurate, Orlando should have a great opportunity to notch a victory against one of the better teams in the league.

Other Notables: The Magic and Nets each play in the league’s two newest arenas. Amway Center, which opened in 2010, is Orlando’s home, while Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, which is in its first year of existence, is the home of the Nets.

MAGIC AT LAKERS



Game Time Info:
Date: Sunday, Dec. 2
Time: 9:30 p.m.
Location: STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, CA)
Television: FS Florida/NBA TV
(All Stats as of Sunday)

Last Season’s Results: The Magic defeated the Lakers in their only meeting last season.

Jan. 20, 2012: The Magic used a balanced scoring attack to earn a 92-80 home win over the Lakers.

Key Matchup: Nikola Vucevic vs. Dwight Howard

It’s not so much the matchup, but the player wearing the Lakers uniform that people will be focused on this Sunday.

In his first meeting with his former squad, six-time All-Star center Dwight Howard will certainly be the center of attention.

Aside from the increased media spotlight that’s sure to surround Howard, Orlando is well aware of how much of an impact the big man can have on both ends of the court.

He’s currently leading the Lakers in rebounds (10.6) and blocks (2.71) per game, while pouring in 18 points per contest, second best on the squad.

Second-year center Nikola Vucevic has been no slouch in the middle for the Magic this season, notching 10.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

Instant Analysis: Although all the hoopla will surround Howard’s matchup with the Magic, the Lakers have plenty of other weapons that Orlando will have to keep in check.

14-time All-Star Kobe Bryant is still as lethal as ever, averaging 26.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. In addition, Pau Gasol, Antawn Jamison and Metta World Peace are other players on the roster all capable of having a huge impact on the affair.

Other Notables: Along with Howard, Lakers point guard Chris Duhon and forward Earl Clark played last season with the Magic.