With all of the news about Orlando’s big acquisitions, the fact that they have a game Saturday night has been lost in the shuffle. The Magic, who are coming off a terrible west coast road trip that saw them go 1-3 with their lone win coming against the Clippers in Los Angeles, will have to play with a short-handed roster because of their deals.
After winning four of their previous five games, the 76ers were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night. The 76ers are now 10-16 but are clearly are playing better basketball. Their only other loss in the last six games was a one-point defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics. The Magic have lost five of their last six, including a 111-94 loss in Denver Tuesday night, dropping them to 16-9.
The game will be shown locally by Sun Sports. 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 Amway Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST.
The Line: Orlando – 6.5
The officials will be Jason Phillips, Eric Dalen and Tom Washington
Opponent To Watch: Jrue Holiday, PG – Holiday played pretty well against the Magic last season during his rookie campaign. He shot 46.9% from the field and 50.0% from beyond the arc while averaging 12.3 and 5.3 assists per game. Holiday, who played just over 24 minutes a game last season is playing over the 34 minutes a game this season and is now the full time starting point guard. His quickness and athleticism can give Orlando some problems.
What To Watch For: Can the Magic bounce back from their poor west coast road trip playing without four players (Lewis, Carter, Pietrus, Gortat) who were just traded? The Magic have won with a short-handed roster already this season, but it’s going to be a tough test. It will also be interesting to see how they react to losing four of their teammates, including three (Lewis, Pietrus, Gortat) that played big roles in their 2008-09 Finals run.
(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).