Magic Weekly Preview (Week 6)



MAGIC AT WARRIORS



Game Time Info:
Date: Monday, December 3
Time: 10:30 p.m.
Location: ORACLE Arena (Oakland, CA)
Television: FS Florida

Last Season’s Result: The Magic prevailed in their only meeting against the Warriors.

Jan. 12: Hedo Turkoglu recorded 20 points and nine assists as the Magic cruised past the Warriors in Oakland.

Key Matchup: Jameer Nelson vs. Stephen Curry

It was originally thought that Nelson would rest his sore Achilles tendon on Sunday in L.A., but instead he played and guided the Magic to a stirring victory over Dwight Howard and the Lakers.

It will be a challenge to recover one night later and clash with Stephen Curry, who is finally healthy and playing at an All-Star level. Perhaps, though, the win in L.A. and the masterpiece Jameer compiled (19 points, 13 assists) will boost Nelson’s confidence.

Instant Analysis: The victory over the Lakers was significant on a variety of levels. First off, beating Howard was invigorating and second, the Magic showed how cohesive they could be when determined.

The Warriors are one of the more improved teams in the league and it’s always difficult for Eastern Conference teams to win back-to-back games out West, but it sure feels like Orlando has the buoyancy to get the job done in Oakland.

Other Notables: In Sunday’s win over the Lakers, the Magic dished out 13 assists in the fourth quarter alone, which was a franchise-record for most assists in the final frame.

 

MAGIC AT JAZZ



Game Time Info:
Date: Wednesday, December 5
Time: 9 p.m.
Location: Energy Solutions Arena (Salt Lake City, UT)
Television: FS Florida

Last Season’s Result: The Magic and Jazz played a thrilling contest in Utah with the Jazz prevailing in overtime.

April 21: Jameer Nelson record 23 points and 11 assists, but the Jazz had a bit more in the tank to win at home in OT.

Key Matchup: Nikola Vucevic vs. Al Jefferson

In many ways Vucevic outplayed Dwight Howard during Sunday’s victory in L.A. His 17 points, 12 rebounds and most importantly, dominant fourth quarter helped steer the Magic to a thrilling triumph.

As this West Coast trip continues, it will continue to be a challenge for Nik, especially when he clashes with Jefferson in Salt Lake City. Big Al has been on a tear lately. He has scored in double figures in all but one game this season.

Instant Analysis: Utah is one of the most difficult places to play in the NBA. Year in and year out, the Jazz have one of the best home records in the league. As a result, it will take a gallant effort from the Magic to steal a victory in Salt Lake City.

Considering they already won over the Lakers and play two inferior opponents on this trip, including the Kings and Suns, if Orlando can prevail in Utah, this has a chance of being an outstanding voyage out West for the Magic.

Other Notables: The Jazz are 6-0 at home this season and 3-9 on the road.

MAGIC AT KINGS



Game Time Info:
Date: Friday, Dec. 7
Time: 10:30 p.m.
Location: Sleep Train Arena (Sacramento, CA)
Television: FS Florida
(All Stats as of Sunday)

Last Season’s Results: The Magic emerged with a road victory in Sacramento in their only meeting with the Kings last season.

Jan. 8, 2012: A 20-point, eight-rebound effort from Glen Davis propelled the Magic to a 104-97 road win.

Key Matchup: Nikola Vucevic vs. DeMarcus Cousins

Magic center Nikola Vucevic has had some success against some of the league’s top centers this season.

On Friday, he’ll get a look at one of the NBA’s more physical big men when he goes toe-to-toe with DeMarcus Cousins.

The third-year big man out of Kentucky is currently averaging a team-best 16 points to go along with 9.5 rebounds per game.

Instant Analysis: It’s been a rough stretch of basketball for Sacramento, which has won just two of its last 11 games.

However, Sacramento has performed much better this season at home (4-6) than it has one the road (0-6).

Look for the Magic to put up some points against the Kings, which are allowing an average of 100.5 points per game, sixth worse in the NBA.

Other Notables: Orlando has won seven of its last eight games against Sacramento.

MAGIC AT SUNS



Game Time Info:
Date: Sunday, Dec. 9
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: US Airways Center (Phoenix, AZ)
Television: FS Florida
(All Stats as of Sunday)

This Season’s Results: The Magic used a 40-point third quarter to defeat the Suns in their only matchup this season.

Nov. 4, 2012: Five players scored in double figures as Orlando used a balanced offensive attack to surge past Phoenix.

Key Matchup: Glen Davis vs. Luis Scola

In their first head-to-head meeting both Scola and Davis generated quality offense for their squads.

Scola went an efficient 10-for-19 from the field on his way to 24 points, while Davis collected 22 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists.

Instant Analysis: The Magic have been at their best all season when they’ve executed their offense with precision by efficiently sharing and moving the basketball.

It’s what proved to be the difference in their first showdown with the Suns and they’ll look to be equally as effective on Sunday.

“The way they moved the ball, the way they are sharing the ball and playing together, that is why they beat us,” Suns forward Michael Beasley explained.

Other Notables: Hedo Turkoglu played in 25 games with the Suns in 2010-11, before being traded to Orlando. Suns center Marcin Gortat spent three and a half seasons with the Magic.