Savage: Magic's Big March Matchups

Dan Savage
March 12, 2012

ORLANDO --
While college basketball is consumed with madness in March, the month is filled with big matchups for the Orlando Magic.

The squad has already earned impressive victories over Eastern Conference contenders like the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers, proving to the rest of the league that they’re capable of hanging with the NBA’s elite teams.

“When we come out and come ready to play the entire game, we're a tough team to beat,” Orlando power forward Ryan Anderson explained.

The Magic will certainly be put to the test for the remainder of the month as they still have a number of games left against title-contending teams such as the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks.

All of the aforementioned matchups will take place at Amway Center, giving the Magic faithful a sneak peek at playoff-caliber contests.

Here are a few reasons you should be excited for these upcoming Big March Matchups:

MAGIC VS. HEAT

Game Time Info:
Date: Tuesday, March 13
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Amway Center (Orlando, FL)
Television: FS Florida/NBATV
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One Opposing Player to Watch: Dwyane Wade

Jason Richardson on Wade: "His aggressiveness is part of what makes him so special. His will to get the basketball. He’s got a great finishing game. You just try to keep him off the paint, because he’s so good down there."

J-Rich on Why Wade is Fun to Watch: "The excitement he brings, how hard he plays every night. He never takes plays off. He always plays hard. He’s one of the top players in the league."

Recent Magic-Heat Highlights:
Magic vs. Heat Game 1 | Magic at Heat Game 2 | Howard Soars Over Heat | D12's Steal & Slam

*The Magic also play the Heat in Miami on Sunday, March 18 at 7 p.m. ET.




MAGIC AT SPURS

Game Time Info:
Date: Wednesday, March 14
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)
Television: Sun Sports

One Opposing Player to Watch: Tim Duncan

Ryan Anderson on Duncan: "Tim Duncan is just such a crafty player and he’s just so deceptive in his moves. He’s just one of the most fundamentally sound big men to play the game.”

Anderson on Why Duncan is Fun to Watch: “It’s rare to see a guy that fundamentally sound that tall. He can shoot the ball. He’s a consistent 18-foot shooter and he’s got that bank shot. He’s crafty around the rim. That’s what makes him so hard to guard. Plus, he’s big too.”

Recent Magic-Spurs Highlights:
Magic vs. Spurs Game 1 | Dwight Over Duncan | Howard Rejects Blair | Superman's Putback Slam




MAGIC VS. BULLS

Game Time Info:
Date: Monday, March 19
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Amway Center (Orlando, FL)
Television: TNT
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One Opposing Player to Watch: Derrick Rose

Chris Duhon on Rose: "He’s probably one of the best athletes in the league. He’s matured as a point guard as far as seeing the court, picking and choosing his spots; he’s more consistent shooting the basketball. When you pressure him, he’s lightning fast and his ability to finish at the rim, he’s the best at it.”

Duhon on Why Rose is Fun to Watch: "You never know what he’s going to do. He’s so exciting. He’s so athletic that when he gets past guys, you don’t know whether he’s going to dunk on them or what. He makes the more difficult layups look easy. It’s fun to watch, because he does it consistently day in and day out."

Recent Magic-Bulls Highlights:
Magic vs. Bulls Game 1 | Magic at Bulls Game 2 | Hedo to Howard | Dwight Discusses Win




MAGIC AT KNICKS

Game Time Info:
Date: Wednesday, March 28
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)
Television: Sun Sports/ESPN

One Opposing Player to Watch: Jeremy Lin

J.J. Redick on Lin: "I think that any attention and praise that he’s received has been well deserved. I haven’t really seen anything like that in this league."

Redick on Why Lin is Fun to Watch: “For me, I would pay (to see him play) because it’s an underdog story. I think that as an American, as just a human, we can all identify in someway with that.”

Recent Magic-Knicks Highlights:

Magic vs. Knicks Game 1 | Last Season: Nelson Buzzer-Beater | Q's Steal & Score | Dwight Dives in Stands




MAGIC VS. MAVS

Game Time Info:
Date: Friday, March 30
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Amway Center (Orlando, FL)
Television: FS Florida/ESPN
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One Opposing Player to Watch: Dirk Nowitzki

Ryan Anderson on Nowitzki: "He started a brand new trend of basketball. To be that tall and as quick and agile as he is, to shoot the ball like he can and to be able to score the ball like he can, he’s one of those rare talents that you see every 10, 15 years."

Anderson on Why Nowitzki is Fun to Watch: "He’s just one of those guys that you can tell his style of play was just different and it sort of transformed the way basketball is played today. I love watching him play because of that."

Last Season's Magic-Mavs Highlights:
Magic Defeat Mavs | Hedo Finds Howard | Turk's Lob to D12 | Superman's Big Block