After ending their five-game losing streak with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers, the Orlando Magic will try to make it two straight when they host the Detroit Pistons Monday night. The Pistons were blown out by the Miami Heat Sunday evening, dropping their record to 21-35 (6-23 on the road). The Magic enter with a record of 33-23.
These two teams met back on January 2 and the Pistons came away with an 89-78 victory. Dwight Howard had 19 points and seven rebounds while Ben Gordon led all scorers with 26 points. They met again just six days ago and the Pistons improved their record against the Magic to 2-0 with a 102-95 victory. In the second meeting, the Magic were without Howard, Ryan Anderson and Jameer Nelson.
The Magic rank 16th in offensive rating (104.6), 11th in defensive rating (103.1) and play at the league’s third-slowest pace (89.1). The Pistons are 27th in offensive rating (100.6), 23rd in defensive rating (106.7) and play at the league’s second-slowest pace (88.9).
Tip-off from the Amway Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST. The game will be shown locally on FS Florida.
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, Tre Maddox and Michael Smith.
The Line: Orlando – 8.5 (184u)
Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey (sore left big toe) returned against the Miami Heat Sunday night.
*Dwight Howard is out (back spasms) so Glen Davis will start in his place.
**Ryan Anderson could return from hit sprained right ankle. Anderson went through Monday’s shootaround and expects to play Monday night.
Quentin Richardson (sore back) is questionable while Hedo Turkoglu (facial surgery) remains out.
- This should be another slow-paced game – Detroit and Orlando are the second and third slowest-paced teams in the league.
- Greg Monroe feasted on the Magic defense last week without Dwight Howard in the lineup. With Howard out again, Glen Davis will have to step up. He’s done a great job so far, averaging 21.8 points and 11.1 rebounds per game over his last four games, all starts. Davis kept the Magic in their last game with the Pistons, scoring a career-high 31 points.
- With Hedo Turkoglu out, the job of covering veteran forward Tayshaun Prince will go to Jason Richardson or Quentin Richardson, who has been out with a back injury (the Magic hope to have him back Monday). Earl Clark is a possibility, but with Howard out, he’ll probably have to log his minutes down low. Prince is averaging 13.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game this season.
- Ben Gordon has averaged 22.0 points against the Magic this season.
(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: Ben Gordon Ben Wallace Brandon Knight Chris Duhon Dwight Howard Eal Clark Greg Monroe Hedo Turkoglu J.j. Redick Jameer Nelson Jason Maxiel Jason Richardson Joe Dumars Jonas Jerebko Larry Hughes Orlando Magic Otis Smith Quentin Richardson Rodney Stuckey Ryan Anderson Stan Van Gundy Tayshaun Prince Von Wafer