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Tonight's Game: Orlando Magic at Minnesota Timberwolves

2008/2009 NBA Regular Season
Orlando Magic main logo
Minnesota Timberwolves main logo
23-6 5-23
December 27th, 2008
Target Center
8:00 PM
FSN Florida
Probable starters:
Jameer Nelson PG Kevin Ollie
Keith Bogans SG Randy Foye
Hedo Turkoglu SF Ryan Gomes
Rashard Lewis PF Craig Smith
Dwight Howard C Al Jefferson
Previous Meetings:
December 3rd: Magic 100, 'Wolves 89

The last time the Minnesota Timberwolves played the Orlando Magic, they were on a two-game losing streak. They had lost eleven more consecutive games until last night, when they defeated the New York Knicks. In that same time period, the Magic have gone 9-1. Yup, definitely a Tale of Two Cities sort of thing going on.

Beating the Timberwolves should be pretty simple. After all, they lose almost five times as often as they win.

  • Shut down Al Jefferson--much easier said than done, to be sure, but Orlando has the personnel to do it;

  • Keep them off the offensive glass, where rookie Kevin Love excels (second among all qualified NBA players in offensive rebound rate);

  • and control the pace. Three of Minnesota's five wins have come against teams ranked in the top-10 in pace factor. The Magic fall into that category, so they must caution themselves against getting too shot-happy. Then again, given how horribly Minnesota defends in transition--remember Courntey Lee picking them apart earlier this month?--maybe they can afford to get out and run a little bit.

Tip's at 8 on FSN Florida. Check AM 580 WDBO for the radio broadcast if you're like every other cable subscriber in the Orlando area. For what it's worth, Minnesota fans can't always see or hear their favorite team in their own market, either. If Keith Bogans, who has shot 5-of-29 from the field for 15 points in his last five games, starts tonight instead of Mickael Pietrus, I will be very surprised.

Go Magic.