The Magic are coming off their two most impressive victories of the season for two very different reasons. The Magic dominated the improved Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night to the tune of a 107-78 beatdown. Friday night, the Magic, playing with just eight players because of a stomach flu going around the team, defeated the Detroit Pistons 104-91.
After being one of the league’s most improved teams last season, the Bucks are off to a terrible start this season. Their 105-94 loss to Denver Wednesday dropped them to 6-12 and they have now lost seven of their last eight games. The Magic are going in a different direction. They have won six straight games and 10 of their last 11 to improve to an Eastern Conference-best 15-4 (tied with the Boston Celtics).
The Magic will definitely be without Mickael Pietrus, J.J. Redick, Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard, who were sent back to Orlando with the stomach flu and won’t be without Ryan Anderson, who injured his ankle Friday night.
Center Andrew Bogut missed Wednesday’s game with back soreness but is expected to start Saturday night.
The game will be shown locally by FSN Florida and nationally by NBA. 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 the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is scheduled for 8:30 pm EST.
The Line: Milwaukee – 3
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
The officials will be Greg Willard, David Jones and Gary Zielinski.
Opponent To Watch: Brandon Jennings, PG -The second year pro who took the league by storm with his 55-point game last season, is averaging 18.1 points, 5.6 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.28 steals per game. Jennings’ field goal % is up to 39.1% in his second season and he’s shooting 35.4% from beyond the arc. Quick point guards have always been an extremely tough matchup for the Magic and it’s going to be up to Chris Duhon to slow Jennings down. Jennings struggled against the Magic last season, averaging just 13.3 points per game on 31.3% shooting in three games against the Magic.
What To Watch For: It’s going to be tough for the Magic to play as well as they did Friday night. Not only are they down to eight players, but they’ll be playing on the second night of a back-to-back. The Bucks are really struggling now but they have a talented roster and will be getting big man Andrew Bogut back. The Magic will also see the familiar faces of Corey Maggette, Keyon Dooling and Drew Gooden, three former Magic players.
(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: Andrew Bogut Brandon Bass Brandon Jennings Chris Duhon Corey Maggettee Drew Gooden Dwight Howard Jameer Nelson Jason Williams Kenyon Dooling Milwaukee Bucks Orlando Magic Quentin Richardson Rashard Lewis Vince Carter