The Orlando Magic will look to rebound from an absolutely awful showing against the Boston Celtics Monday night. The Magic dropped to 11-5 after their 87-56 loss.
The Pacers enter the game with a record of 11-4 and are coming off of a win in Los Angeles over the Lakers Sunday night.
The Pacers have played just five of their games at home and are a perfect 5-0 in those games.
The Magic are 10th in offensive rating (104.7), have improved to 13th in defensive rating (101.2) and play at the league’s 24th-fastest pace (89.6). The Pacers are 17th in offense (101.9), fourth in defense (98.1) and play at the league’s 20th fastest pace (90.8).
Tip-off from Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST. 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 FM 96.5 and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.
The officials for tonight’s game are Scott Foster, Mark Ayotte and Haywoode Workman.
The Line: Indiana – 4.0 (181)
Fatigue could be a factor for both teams. The Pacers were off Monday but have just returned from a west coast road trip (They finished losing to Sacramento and defeating both Golden State and the Lakers). The Magic played in Boston last night.
The Pacers have been one of the best defensive teams in the league this season. After Monday night’s performance, that has to have Magic fan nervous.
Offensively, the Pacers are one of the most balanced teams in the NBA – seven players average double figures in scoring, led by Danny Granger’s 16.1 points per game (Roy Hibbert 13.9, David West 11.8, Darren Collison 11.1, Paul George 11.1, George Hill 10.6, Tyler Hansbrough 10.1).
If Dwight Howard can get Hibbert into foul trouble, it’s going to be a very difficult night for the interior defense of their Pacers. Their only other center, Jeff Foster, is out with a back injury so the Pacers will have to throw Hansbrough, West and Louis Amundson at Howard, all players he has a clear height and weight advantage over.
Darren Collison has given the Magic problems before and with the way Jameer Nelson and Chris Duhon have played, he and George Hill could give the Magic a lot of problems. Collison is shooting just 40.7% from the field but is hitting 48.3% of his three-pointers while Hill is having a fantastic season off of the bench. He’s shooting 49.5% from the field, 42.5% from beyond the arc. The Magic may need Larry Hughes to give them some size and length against Hill.
(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 Danny Granger Darren Collison David West Dwight Howard George Hill Glen Davis Hedo Turkoglu Indiana Pacers J.j. Redick Jameer Nelson Jason Richardson Larry Hughes Orlando Magic Otis Smith Paul George Quentin Richardson Roy Hibbert Ryan Anderson Stan Van Gundy Tyler Hansborough Von Wafer