After a victory over the Toronto Raptors Monday, the Orlando Magic will try to win their third consecutive game when they take on the Charlotte Bobcats Tuesday night. The Bobcats were torched by Deron Williams for a season-high 57 points in a 104-101 loss to the New Jersey Nets Sunday, their fifth straight defeat, dropping their record to a league-worst 4-31. The Magic, who have won nine of their last 12, are now 25-14.
These two teams met back on December 30 in Charlotte. Behind 23 points from Ryan Anderson and 20 points and 24 rebounds from Dwight Howard, the Magic dominated the Bobcats 100-79. The two teams met again on January 17 in Orlando. For the most part Orlando didn’t play well, but Dwight Howard (25 points, 17 rebounds) led them to a 96-89 victory.
The Magic rank 11th in offensive rating (104.3), 12th in defensive rating (101.4) and play at the league’s fourth-slowest pace (89.5). The Bobcats are last in offensive rating (94.5) and 29th in defensive rating (110.3). Charlotte plays at the 17th-fastest pace in the league (91.4).
Tip-off from the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST. The game will be shown locally by Fox Sports 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.
The officials for tonight’s games are Eddie F. Rush, Tony Brown and Josh Tiven.
The Line: Orlando – 9.5 (189)
*Rookie center Bismack Biyombo missed Sunday’s loss to the Nets with a strained left shoulder, but is expected to return Tuesday night.
Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy will be on the sideline after experiencing “chest discomfort” Monday in Toronto.
The Bobcats are the worst team in the league – they have the league’s worst offense and the second worst defense.
Clearly, the Bobcats can’t score. Gerald Henderson, who had 22 points in the last meeting between these two teams, leads the Bobcats, averaging 14.6 points per game.
The Bobcats will probably throw DeSagana Diop and Byron Mullins at Dwight Howard. Rookie Bismack Biyombo, who frustrated Howard at times in their last meeting, is expected to return from his shoulder injury after missing the last two games Tuesday night. Biyombo had 11 points and 10 rebounds in the last meeting. Howard has averaged 22.5 points and 20.5 rebounds in two games against the Bobcats this season.
The Magic had trouble containing Gerald Henderson last time around, so they’ll need a better defensive effort from Hedo Turkoglu. Point guard D.J. Augustin has the potential to get into the paint and create for himself and his teammates, so it will be important for Jameer Nelson and Chris Duhon to stay in front of him.
Despite playing on the second night of a back-to-back, with both games coming on the road, the Magic have no excuse for losing to the worst team in the league.
(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 on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)
Tags: Bismack Biyombo Boris Diaw Byron Mullens Charlotte Bobcats Chris Duhon DJ White Dwight Howard Gerald Henderson Glen Davis Hedo Turkoglu J.j. Redick Jameer Nelson Jason Richardson Kemba Walker Larry Hughes Orlando Magic Otis Smith Quentin Richardson Ryan Anderson Stan Van Gundy Tyrus Thomas Von Wafer