|Jameer Nelson||PG||Andre Miller|
|Maurice Evans||SG||Willie Green|
|Hedo Turkoglu||SF||Andre Iguodala|
|Rashard Lewis||PF||Reggie Evans|
|Dwight Howard||C||S. Dalembert|
|1 Feb 2008: Magic 108, 76ers 106|
|22 Feb 2008: Magic 115, 76ers 99|
|27 Feb 2008: 76ers 101, Magic 89|
Let's see: we're at home, playing a .500 team we may later face in the first round of the playoffs. Where have I heard that one before?
Can we agree that it's not safe to overlook Philadelphia? The 76ers don't stand a chance at defeating Boston or Detroit in a seven-game series, but they'd give everyone else in the East absolute fits. We just match up poorly with them, particularly at point guard; Andre Miller and Louis Williams routinely destroy us. In fact, Miller's average of 24.7 points per game against us is his best against any Eastern opponent, and nearly 8 points higher than his season average. Ditto for Williams, who averages 15.3 points per game against us, a shade over four points higher than his usual output. So, to state the obvious: stopping Philadelphia's point guards will go a long way to securing a victory for us this evening.
Even with all that, I think we stand a good chance of winning tonight. If being limited by foul trouble and outplayed by Brendan Haywood (?!) Wednesday won't motivate Dwight Howard to punish Philadelphia, I'm not sure what will. Philadelphia is ill-equipped to stop Howard, and Rashard Lewis is due for a big night as well. I sincerely like our chances in this one.
Note that Matt Guokas, the first coach in Magic history, will be honored this evening as part of the Magic's "Commitment to the Past" program. A banner bearing his likeness will be unveiled in the concourse. I love that we're honoring Matty, and I'm not trying to take anything away from him, but I wish this organization could think of a more dignified way to honor its most important historical figures. A banner in the concourse. Great. We can be reminded of these men's greatness each time we head down to grab some nachos or to use the john. Retire some uniform numbers already! Goodness.
My buddy Lane and I will be there tonight to
make complete asses of ourselves cheer the Magic, and Hedo Turkoglu in particular. We love us some Hedo. Tip's at 7 on Sun Sports. Go Magic.