After their loss to the Miami Heat Thursday night, the Orlando Magic will be right back in action when they travel to Washington D.C. to take on the Wizards Friday night.
The Wizards enter the game with the Eastern conference’s third worst record,(13-35) and have lost six straight games. After their loss to the Heat, the Magic are now 31-19 and are fifth in the Eastern conference.
These two teams have met twice this season with the Magic winning in two very different ways. On opening night, the Magic opened their new arena by destroying the Wizards 112-83. Dwight Howard led the way with 23 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks while Cartier Martin had 17 points to lead the Wizards. On November 27 in Washington, the Magic got a put-back from Howard with just 4.3 seconds to play, giving the Magic a 100-99 victory. Howard finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds. Gilbert Arenas led the Wizards with 31 points, five rebounds and five assists. Arenas is now of course a member of the Magic.
The game will mark Areans’ return to Washington, where he played from 2003 until mid December of 2010. It will be Rashard Lewis’ first game against the Magic since he was dealt. Lewis was in his fourth season with the Magic when the deal went down.
The Wizards are 11th in pace (93.3), 28th in offensive rating (102.5) and 20th in defensive rating (109.2).
The game will be shown locally on 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 the the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST.
The Line: Orlando -5.5 (-110), 201.5u
Josh Howard is out indefinitely with left knee tendinitis.
Daniel Orton (left knee surgery) is out indefinitely. Gilbert Arenas is still bothered by a bruised knee but will play while Brandon Bass is expected to miss another game because of his sprained left ankle.
The officials will be Marc Davis, Tony Brown and Sean Wright.
Opponent To Watch: Rashard Lewis, F – Lewis had a disappointing 2009-10 season was even worse during the first two months of the season. He has been playing better since being traded to Washington. Lewis is scoring 13.8 points per game with Washington (up from 122 with the Magic), is shooting 46.6% from the field (up from 41.9%) and he’s grabbing 6.9 rebounds per game (up from 4.2).
What To Watch For: After playing the Heat Thursday night and flying to Washington D.C. over night, and being a short-handed, a game that should be a bit of a mismatch should tunr into a tough test for the struggling Magic. We could see some tired legs from the Magic.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger 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).
Topics: Al Thornton, Andray Blatche, Brandon Bass, Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, J.j. Redick, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Javalle Mcgee, John Wall, Nick Young, Orlando Magic, Rashard Lewis, Ryan Anderson, Trevor Booker, Washington Wizards