These two teams met on Tuesday with the Magic winning a close, hard fought game 90-79. The Pistons were hot early and got off to a 20-8 late before the Magic clamped down and closed the game out on a 23-7 run. The Pistons played the Miami Heat Wednesday night and were waxed 97-72, dropping their record to 6-13.
The Magic enter with a record of 14-4 and have won 5 straight games. They played perhaps their most complete game of the season in a 107-78 victory over the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night.
This game may be a little tougher for the Magic. Dwight Howard is out with the same stomach bug that kept J.J. Redick out of Wednesday’s game. Jameer Nelson is also sick and looks like he won’t be able to go.
Officially, Howard and Mickael Pietrus are listed as out while Nelson and J.J. Redick are questionable.
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 from the Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan is scheduled for 7:30 pm EST.
The Line: Orlando – 7
The officials will be Dan Crawford, Scott Bolnick and Michael Smith.
Opponent To Watch: Tayshaun Prince, F – Prince, who has recently been tied to the Orlando Magic by Sentinel writer Brian Schmitz, has always played well against the Magic. Tuesday wasn’t any different – Prince scored 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. With the flu going around the Magic locker room, Prince should be even more of a bother on the defensive end than usual.
What To Watch For: How the Magic play without their best player. Marcin Gortat has always been pretty good with Howard out and he’ll have to be once again. It’ll be interesting to see how the Magic run their offense with Howard and Nelson sick. They’re going to have to post up other players, like Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter and run their offense mainly through them. It’ll be up to Carter to create for himself and his teammates and we’ll see if he’s up to the task.
(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).
Tags: Ben Gordon Brandon Bass Charlie Vilanueva Detroit Pistons Dwight Howard Jameer Nelson Marcin Gortat Orlando Magic Quentin Richardson Rashard Lewis Richard Hamilton Rodney Stuckey Tayshaun Prince Vince Carter