The Orlando Magic will try to bounce back after their first loss in 8 tries tonight when they host the streaking San Antonio Spurs, winners of 4 straight and 8 out of 9. I'm a bit Spurs'd out after this morning's post about their defense, so this preview will be pretty brief. Ready to make the jump?
|2009/2010 NBA Season|
|40-25 (16-15 road)
|47-21 (27-7 home)
|March 17th, 2010|
|ESPN / Sun Sports|
|George Hill||PG||Jameer Nelson|
|Manu Ginobili||SG||Vince Carter|
|Richard Jefferson||SF||Matt Barnes|
|Antonio McDyess||PF||Rashard Lewis|
|Tim Duncan||C||Dwight Howard|
|91.4 (24th)||Pace||92.5 (17th)|
|109.7 (9th)||ORtg||109.9 (8th)|
|104.2 (8th)||DRtg||102.7 (3rd)|
To me, theee most important thing to keep in mind is that the Spurs are more dangerous than their record lets on. Only the Lakers, Nuggets, and Jazz have a better point differential out west. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy doesn't buy the "Spurs are dead" hype either:
"There's just not a lot of holes in their team," Van Gundy said. "I don't know what people wanted or expected, but that's a pretty good team that I'm sure those other teams in the West are not going to be looking forward to getting in the playoffs."
The Spur to watch tonight is Manu Ginobili, who more-or-less won the Spurs' game against the Heat last night on his own. He's also proven to make offseason acquisition Richard Jefferson, who's struggled to adapt to San Antonio's system, actually relevant. Antonio McDyess, another new Spur, is no stranger to killing the Magic after his most recent stint with the Detroit Pistons. His offensive rebounding gives the Magic fits. And we haven't touched on Hall-of-Fame center Tim Duncan or rookie power forward DeJuan Blair, who will challenge Dwight Howard for a rebounding title in the very near future.
If there's a positive for Orlando going in, it's that the Spurs ceded a 22-2 run to Miami last night, seemingly running out of gas. They didn't get a chance to rest much prior to tonight's game. And the last time they played in Orlando, it was on the second night of a back-to-back, and they lost. To no one's surprise, they blamed the schedule.