The Orlando Magic look to win their fourth straight game when they host the Toronto Raptors Sunday evening.
Tip-off from the Amway Center is scheduled for 6:00 pm EST. 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.
The officials for tonight’s game are Monty McCutchen, Leroy Richardson and Scott Twardoski.
The Line: Orlando – 10.5 (186.5)
Stan Van Gundy is scheduled to speak to the press around 4:30 this afternoon. Word on Nelson should come at that time.
Nelson suffered a stinger in Thursday night’s win over the New Jersey Nets and did not return because of neck spasms. Nelson also sat out Friday night’s victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Nelson has said he hopes to play tonight.
If Nelson can’t go, Chris Duhon will make his second straight start.
The Orlando Magic have played very well over the last couple of days behind by the defense and rebounding of Dwight Howard and a balanced scoring attack led by Ryan Anderson’s 19.5 points per game. Orlando’s defense has been the key, but their offense has played better too, limiting turnovers and moving the ball well.
The Raptors are just 1-2. They defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, then lost competitive games against the Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks, which is nothing to be down about.
Although Amir Johnson has a bloated contract, he Ed Davis and Jamaal Magloire have allowed former first overall pick Andre Bargnani to get out near the three-point line and knock down shots, which is what he does best. Bargnani is averaging 21.3 points and 5.7 rebounds so far this season, including a 30-point, 7-rebound game against the Dallas Mavericks Friday. I’d expect the Magic to put Howard on the other big man in the game and let Anderson and Glen Davis chase Bargnani around.
DeMar DeRozan, who averaged 17.2 points per game last year and is pouring in 16 per game this season, is the other big scoring threat the Raptors have. DeRozan is an incredible athlete, so Orlando’s wings may have some trouble keeping up. DeRozan averaged 22.0 points per game on 48.9% shooting against the Magic last season.
This is another team the Magic should be handle. Last season, the Raptors were the worst defensive team in the league. So far this season, they rank 19th through three games. With the way the Magic have played lately, I’d expect them to exploit the Raptors defense. Toronto’s lack of size means Dwight Howard could be in for his third straight 20-rebound game (he has 24 in each of the last two games).
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)
Topics: Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani, Chris Duhon, Demar Derozan, Dwight Howard, Ed Davis, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu, J.j. Redick, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Jose Calderon, Larry Hughes, Orlando Magic, Quentin Richardson, Ryan Anderson, Stan Van Gundy, Toronto Raptors, Von Wafer