|2008/2009 NBA Regular Season|
|November 1st, 2008|
|Beno Udrih||PG||Jameer Nelson|
|Kevin Martin||SG||Mickael Pietrus|
|John Salmons||SF||Hedo Turkoglu|
|Mikki Moore||PF||Rashard Lewis|
|Spencer Hawes||C||Dwight Howard|
The Orlando Magic suffered an embarrassing defeat last night at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies, blowing a lead that had ballooned to as much as 15 points to a team that started 3 rookies. As hard as it is to believe, the Sacramento Kings might have had it worse last night. They dropped a 103-77 decision to the Miami Heat in South Beach, shooting 38.2% from the field and 10.5% from three-point range. They also turned the ball over on 27.1% of their possessions... and those were just the offensive problems. They let six Heat players score in double-figures. Before the season, Britt Robson of The Rake named the Kings the least-talented team in the league. So far, they haven't done anything to refute that notion.
The preview continues after the jump.
Indeed, the talent gap between the Magic and their opponent is wide, which should bode well for them. But they had the talent edge in the last two games and came up empty on both occasions. I think the third time will be the charm for Orlando tonight. Second-year center Spencer Hawes, starting for the suspended veteran Brad Miller, has played solidly on offense so far, but is a sieve on defense. Dwight Howard should have a field day on both ends of the floor; defensively, he'll check veteran forward Mikki Moore, who is only a threat on offensive rebounds and dump-offs. Dwight should be free to roam the lane for shot-blocks, because I don't believe the Beno Udrih/Bobby Jackson point guard tandem has what it takes to find the open man once Howard challenges their shot.
The only way I can tolerate a loss tonight is if the Magic bust their butts. That's it. If the Magic go all-out against the Kings and lose, it's because Kevin "Speed Racer" Martin scored 60 points on 15 shots. I wouldn't put it past him.
I am, frankly, sick of watching this team which starts three All-Star-caliber players in its frontcourt get outworked, consistently, night after night. It's time to buck the trend. With apologies to Kings coach Reggie Theus, a former Magic player, and to Tom Ziller, one of the blogosophere's finest writers, I want Orlando to romp over Sacramento. By, like, 20 points or more. Please.
Tip's at 7. I'm incommunicado basically all day and may not be around for the tip, but y'all can keep the fort down. Go Magic.
P.S. how do you like the Magic's 20th Anniversary logo in the matchup table at the top? I thought I'd use it for the second night of back-to-backs.
Who will win tonight's game?
This poll is closed
The Orlando Magic
The Sacramento Kings