The Orlando Magic rallied from an early 15-point deficit and defeated the Washington Wizards 109-95 Saturday night. The Magic will have to turn right around and take on the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday night. You can read a preview of that game here.
Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy thinks that this will be a tough back to back.
The Magic (47-20) will try and tie the franchise record for consecutive victories at nine tonight when they host the Southeast Division rival Charlotte Bobcats in an especially tough back-to-back. Charlotte, winners of five straight, could be without all-star forward Gerald Wallace, who has been out with an ankle injury.
“This is a tough back-to-back because it’s an early game and the clock is going forward,’’ Van Gundy said. “We’ll get home and have about 12 hours before we’re back on the court doing our walk-through for Charlotte. So some mental toughness will be required against a team that’s playing very well.’’
You can read this and more in John Denton’s postgame analysis.
Orlando got a huge lift from their second unit on Saturday.
The Magic needed a jolt. They got it from their bench.
“[Mickael Pietrus] looked at me, and MP said to everybody we needed to pick things up for the starters,” J.J. Redick said. That’s when things went back to normal.
With the second team of Redick, Pietrus, point guard Jason Williams and power forward Brandon Bass joining starting center Dwight Howard in the second quarter, the Magic beat the exhausted Washington Wizards (21-43) into submission. Orlando (47-20) scored 41 points in the second quarter and won, 109-95. The win extended the Eastern Conference’s longest active winning streak to eight games, one shy of a Magic franchise record.
Brian Schmitz has that story here.
Orlando’s blowout wins have been giving them some much-needed rest.
A side benefit of blowout wins, which Orlando enjoyed in four of its last six games in March heading into Saturday’s contest against the Washington Wizards, is that their starters have had time to rest.
“It really does help because once the playoffs start there’s no rest, no off days,” Magic F Rashard Lewis said. “You’re either watching film or doing some type of preparation and you’re playing very, very hard so your body’s beat up.”
You can read that story here.
Steve Francis picked his nose on television during Saturday night’s game. If you’re not grossed out by that sort of thing, Matt Humphrey has the video here.
Phillip Rossman-Reich offers his thoughts from Saturday night’s game and he puts Orlando’s win streak in perspective.
It is difficult to say whether this will continue though. Orlando heads home to take on Charlotte on Sunday. It is the first team the Magic will have played that is in postseason position since either Thursday’s game against the Bulls or March 7′s game against the Lakers depending on how you define playoff positioning.
During the eight-game win streak, Orlando’s opponents have a .395 win percentage. The schedule will get tougher, to say the least. The Magic’s next five opponents (the Bobcats, Spurs, Heat, 76ers and Hawks) have a .528 win percentage and four of the five are competing for a playoff spot. That is much different than the teams Orlando has been facing lately.
You can find that story here.
Marc Stein takes a look at the 30 most entertaining games remaining on the NBA schedule. Did Magic-Cavs make the cut?
Well, of course it did, but check out the rest of the list here.
Bullets Forever had a pretty hilarious caption for their picture in their game thread Saturday night. Check that out here.
The Charlotte Bobcats signed veteran Larry Hughes.
His shooting numbers are bad, but he can distribute the ball pretty well for a combo guard, and he continues to play good defense – on a bad defensive team like the Knicks, he has held players to a PER 1.2 below expected as well as limiting their true shooting percentage (TS%) to right on their average.
Brett of Queen City Hoops has more on that story here.
Rufus on Fire always weighs in on the signing.
We’ll need all the veteran help we can get. It also is fairly obvious to me that we not only aren’t 100% with Hendo…we aren’t 100% with Graham either.
I know that Hughes is more PG than anything, but has to be a welcome addition. DJ is coming into his own, but it is also nice to have another ball handler at 6’5″ with us. We’ll just have to see where LB fits him in.
You can read that story here.
You can always read more on Hughes at heylarryhughespleasestoptakingsomanybadshots.com
Bobcats Planet celebrates a special milestone.