|Charlotte Bobcats Arena|
|Jeff McInnis||PG||The Closer|
|Gerald Wallace||PF||Sweet Lew|
|Emeka Okafor||C||Big Baby Jesus|
The Magic reach the halfway point of their season when they take on the Bobcats in Charlotte tonight. It will be the last meeting between these two teams this season unless they meet in the playoffs, which is unlikely given Charlotte's record.
The key to a Magic victory tonight will be stopping the Bobcats'
scrubs non-stars from breaking out. The stars will get theirs: Jason Richardson has been on a tear recently, averaging 24.4 points per game this month, up from 20.2 last month, despite shooting worse from three-point range. Gerald Wallace, the Bobcats' other perimeter scoring threat, is averaging 25.3 points per game this month. Yet the Magic withstood a combined 57 points from that duo in defeating the Bobcats on December 29th. Matt Carroll and Raymond Felton could get hot. Heck, maybe Emeka Okafor will finally have a good offensive game against us; Dwight Howard has done a great job containing him in the teams' three previous meetings this season.
This game has the potential for a letdown, considering that it's against a mediocre team on the road on the second night of a back-to-back. The Bobcats can't be overlooked. Despite their poor record, they have managed to beat Utah and Boston this season, and would have beaten the Celtics twice were it not for a boneheaded inbounds pass that was stolen, which lead to a miraculous Ray Allen three-point buzzer-beater. Hopefully, the boys won't lose focus tonight and will be able to take care of business.