The Orlando Magic, winners of three straight games, head to Indiana to take on the Pacers Saturday night. The Pacers made a major move in the offseason, unloading Troy Murphy in a 4-team deal to acquire James Posey and Darren Collison from the New Orleans Hornets. Collison has played well but is nursing a sprained left ankle.
The Pacers are coming off a 107-80 win over the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night while the Magic blew out the Phoenix Suns 105-89. The Pacers used that win to improve to 5-5. The Magic enter the game atop the Southeast division with a record of 8-3.
The game will be shown locally by FSN Florida. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.
Tip-off from Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST.
The officials for Saturday night’s game will be Bennett Salvatore, Kane Fitzgerald, and Leroy Richardson.
J.J. Redick expects to play Saturday night.
Opponent To Watch: Roy Hibbert, C – I would have put Darren Collison’s name here if he was healthy because of the way he has played against the Magic or Danny Granger because he’s a stat-machine but Hibbert is having a very good season (16.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.8 blocks per game). It should be a good challenge for Dwight Howard. Although Howard usually gets the best of Hibbert, Hibbert did have a 26-point, 8-rebound game against the Magic in a 97-90 win last season.
What To Watch For: How the Magic defend the point guard position. Even though Collison is hurt, quicker point guards like T.J. Ford have always given the Magic some problems. Ford has averaged 14.5 points and 6.8 assists per game in his career against the Magic but he’s averaging just 6.3 points and 3.8 assists per game so far this season.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days (1420sports.com) and ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com). Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).