The Orlando Magic will look to build off their blowout win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday night when they host the Charlotte Bobcats Sunday evening.
The two Southeast division rivals have met just once this season. The Magic took down the Bobcats 91-88 in Charlotte in a tough game way back on November 6. Dwight Howard had 22 points and eight rebounds in the victory.
As you’ll remember, these two teams met in the first round of the postseason last year with the Magic sweeping the series despite losing Howard to foul trouble for a good part of the aciton.
The Bobcats looked like a team that will be on the outside looking in come April this year but their win over the Sacramento Kings Friday improved their record to 26-32 and they sit just one half-game behind the Indiana Pacers for the eighth seed. Orlando is now 37-22, fourth in the east.
The Bobcats were busy during Thursday’s trade deadline. They sent Nazr Mohammed to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for D.J. White and Morris Peterson and acquired two first round picks, Sean Marks, Dante Cunningham and big man Joel Przybilla from the Portland Trail Blazers while shipping their best player, Gerald Wallace, to Portland in return.
The game will be shown locally on 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 the Amway Center is scheduled for 6:00 pm EST.
The Line: Orlando – 10.5 (-110), 194u
Daniel Orton (left knee surgery) is out indefinitely.
DeSagana Diop is out for the season (ruptured right Achilles). Tyrus Thomas is out after having left knee surgery. Stephen Jackson is suffering from a strained left hamstring but played Friday against the Kings, scoring 30 points.
The officials will be Ken Mauer, Mark Ayotte and Mark Lindsay.
Opponent To Watch: D.J. Augustin, PG – After losing Raymond Felton to free agency, Augustin inherited the role of starting point guard and we’ve seen mixed results. Augustin is averaging 14.4 points and 6.1 assists per but has been inconsistent. If you’ll remember back to the 2010 postseason, both Augustin and Felton were absolutely abused by Magic point guard Jameer Nelson and if that happens again Sunday, the Bobcats can forget about any chance of even really competing in the series.
Augustin had nine points and eight assists in the only meeting between the clubs this season.
What To Watch For: Orlando’s inconsistency has been one of their major problems, especially as of late. A loss to the lowly Kings was sandwiched in between dominant wins over two of the western conference’s elite teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder. The Magic must become a more consistent team and that starts with beating inferior competition, especially at home. Not only does Orlando have much more talent than Charlotte but the Hornets don’t have the center rotation they had last season that got Howard into foul trouble and just traded their best player in Gerald Wallace.
(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: Boris Diaw, Brandon Bass, Charlotte Bobcats, Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, Gerald Wallace, Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, J.j. Redick, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Michael Jordan, Ryan Anderson, Stephen Jackson