The Orlando Magic are coming off a very poor performance. The Magic gave a lackluster effort in a 101-93 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. The Pacers are coming off an embarrassing blowout loss to the New York Knicks.
The Magic enter the game at 24-9. The Pacers have lost nine of their last 10 games and stand at 10-23. The Pacers 7-9 home record is much better than their road record. The Magic are 11-6 on the road.
Tip-off from the Conseco Field House in Indianapolis is set for 7:00 pm EST and the game will be shown by Sun Sports. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can hear it locally on WDBO 580 AM and in Spanish on WONQ AM 1030.
The Line: Orlando -8.5
Update: Indiana Forward Tyler Hansbrough will also miss the game with an inner ear infection.
Magic Shooting Guard Vince Carter will play in Tuesday’s game.
“I feel fine,” Carter said after practice ended. “We got after it a little bit and it felt good.”
The workout lasted about two and a half hours, and coach Stan Van Gundy reported that Carter looked good.
“He looked fine today,” Van Gundy said. “There wasn’t anything noticeable in terms of his inability to move or he was limping or anything like that. There was none of that.”
Starting Forward Troy Murphy will not play due to his sprained left ankle. Backup Center Jeff Foster is also out.
Point Guard T.J. Ford has been removed from Indiana’s rotation and hasn’t played in either of the last two games.
The Pacers are coming off an embarrassing defeat. The Knicks destroyed the Pacers 132-89 on Sunday. I would expect a much better effort from the Pacers to try and erase that defeat.
The Pacers are not much of an offensive team. They rank 25th in efficiency and score just 97.6 points per game.
The Pacers’ offense is usually led by Danny Granger, but he is still not ready to return. With all of their injuries, the Pacers’ current leading scorer is Dahntay Jones, who puts up just 12.1 points per game.
One Pacer who has thrived as of late is Guard Luther Head. Head has averaged 17.83 points per game over his last six games, including 23.0 points per game over his last three.
The Pacers are a poor rebounding team, especially if Troy Murphy cannot go. They have a rebounding rate of 48.3%, good for 27th in the NBA. Starting Center Roy Hibbert has underachieved on the boards.
The Pacers are a better defensive team, ranking 18th in efficiency, but they do give up 103.8 points per game. The Pacers do a pretty good jump defending the three-point line so the Magic will have to go inside to Dwight Howard much more often to open the offense for their shooters.
The last time these two teams met, Howard had a huge day, scoring 21 points, grabbing 23 rebounds and blocking four shots, but the Magic had to rally for a 106-98 win. They played poor defense until they had a lock-down fourth quarter. Vince Carter led all scorers with 28 points and had seven rebounds and three assists. Mike Dunleavy led the Pacers with 26 points.