After falling to the Denver Nuggets Sunday night, the Orlando Magic got a couple of days off before returning home to host the worst team in the league, the Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats were blown out by the Washington Wizards Monday night, dropping them to 7-57. It was their 21st consecutive loss. Orlando enters with a record of 36-28.
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. They 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. Charlotte and Orlando squared off for a third time on March 6 and the Magic blew a 20-point lead, losing 100-84. Charlotte has won just two games since.
The Magic rank 15th in offensive rating (105.0), 12th in defensive rating (104.0) and play at the league’s second-slowest pace (89.1). The Bobcats are last in offensive rating (95.1), last in defensive rating (110.3) and play at the league’s 17th-fastest pace (91.1).
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 Tony Brothers, Derrick Collins and Tommy Nunez Jr.
The Line: Orlando – 14.5 (186.5)
Corey Maggette (strained right Achilles) and Eduardo Najera (frontal lobe surgery) are out for the season.
After suffering a left-calf contusion Sunday night, Jameer Nelson is “good to go.”
The Magic also expect to have Earl Clark and Quentin Richardson available.
The Magic need just one win (or a New York Knicks loss – they host the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night) to clinch the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and they need to get it done Wednesday – Charlotte is one of the worst teams in the history of the NBA. Should Charlotte lose to Orlando Wednesday and New York Thursday, they’ll finish 7-59 and have the lowest winning percentage in NBA history.
(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)
Topics: 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