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Tonight's Preseason Game: Houston Rockets at Orlando Magic

2009/2010 NBA Preseason
Houston Rockets main logo
Orlando Magic main logo
2-0 2-0
October 9th, 2009
Amway Arena
7:00 PM
No local TV
Probable starters:
Aaron Brooks PG Jameer Nelson
Chase Budinger SG Vince Carter
Trevor Ariza SF Rashard Lewis
Carl Landry PF Brandon Bass
David Andersen C Marcin Gortat
Game Officials
Scott Bolnick
Sir Allen Conner
Byron Jarrett

Something's gotta give tonight at the Amway Arena, as the undefeated Houston Rockets come to town to face the undefeated Orlando Magic. Houston, without its two highest-paid players, has quietly knocked off title-contending Boston and San Antonio, and GM Daryl Morey is pleased with his team's performance. The Rockets, like the Magic, have changed the starting lineups in both their games, so bear that in mind when consulting the lineup chart above. The only players to start each game for Houston are Aaron Brooks, Trevor Ariza, and Chuck Hayes. And yes, former Magic forward/current Rockets "albatross" Brian Cook indeed started a preseason game for the Rockets. Tremendous.

Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, and Dwight Howard are the constants in Orlando's lineup. Rashard Lewis, who sat out Wednesday's win over the Miami Heat, figures to return tonight... as a small forward, a position he's played sparingly in his two years with the Magic, and a position at which he's never started a game. Perhaps he's the player to watch most carefully tonight, as his ability to man the three-spot after a two-year layoff could alter the course of the Magic's season. It also could not, though, which is why we should watch these preseason games--or listen to them, in the Orlando market--with a shaker of salt handy.

Stay tuned for Eddy's pre-game report later today. I'll update the lineups in this post when they become available, and re-label the lineup chart "probable starters" accordingly. See you at tipoff.

UPDATE (via the Orlando Sentinel):

Marcin Gortat will start at center tonight against the Houston Rockets. Dwight Howard will get some rest tonight. He could come in for a few minutes, but the plan is not to play him much if at all. This is not due to an injury, just regular preseason rotating.

Additional starters are expected to include Brandon Bass at power forward, Rashard Lewis at small forward, Jameer Nelson at point guard and Vince Carter at shooting guard.