The Magic will try to finish the west coast portion of their road trip unbeaten when they take on the Golden State Warriors Thursday night.
Orlando’s 107-104 win over the Blazers improved their record to 7-3. The Magic held off a huge Blazer rally to secure the win. On Tuesday, the Warriors rallied from 17 points to defeat the Miami Heat in overtime. The win put the Warriors at 3-6 for the season after their 2-1 start.
Tip-off from the the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California is scheduled for 10:30 pm EST. The game will be shown nationally by TNT. There is no local TV coverage of the game.
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 Line: Orlando – 3.5 (185u)
Golden State Warriors
Kwame Brown has torn a muscle in his chest.
Guard Stephen Curry remains out with a right ankle injury but the Warriors will get Andris Biedrins back.
It won’t be easy for the Magic. The Magic had to travel overnight and will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back. They likely exerted a lot of energy holding of the Blazers Wednesday night.
The Warriors are no pushover. With Monta Ellis having to leave for a game, Steph Curry’s injury and head coach Mark Jackson having to quickly implement a new system, their 3-6 record is explainable. The three wins have been impressive – they defeated the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Miami Heat at home.
The Warriors have to be happy to be getting Biedrins back because
outside of Kwame Brown, they have nothing to throw at Dwight Howard. Biedrins clearly is no match for Howard, but he’s at least a bigger body to throw at him.
The Magic struggled against the Warriors in Oracle Arena last season, losing 123-120 in overtime. In the game, no one could defend. The Magic hit 15 three-pointers, but that was six(!) less than the Warriors hit. Monta Ellis had 39 points while Dorell Wright had 32. Jason Richardson had 30 for the Magic.
Containing a pure scorer like Ellis continues to be a problem for the Magic. They got a refresher in that course Wednesday night when Jamal Crawford scored a game-high 24 points against them. Ellis is averaging 23.9 points per game this season, but his shooting (40.9% from the field, 22.0% from beyond the arc) has been terrible.
Former Florida Gator David Lee will have to provide a scoring punch, but Ryan Anderson and Glen Davis have done a good job of making life at least a little bit tougher for opposing Fours.
Nate Robinson, who’s often tied to the Magic, came off the bench and exploded for 24 points against the Heat Tuesday. Chris Duhon has had trouble defending opposing guards and Robinson has had big games against the Magic in the past.
The Magic have to be somewhat fatigued, so showing great discipline will be especially important against Golden State’s shooter.
(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)
Tags: Chris Duhon David Lee Dorell Wright Dwight Howard Glen Davis Golden State Warriors Hedo Turkoglu J.j. Redick Jameer Nelson Jason Richardson Larry Hughes Mark Jackson Monta Ellis Orlando Magic Otis Smith Quentin Richardson Ryan Anderson Stan Van Gundy Stephen Curry Von Wafer