|2009/2010 NBA Season|
|November 3rd, 2009|
|The Palace of Auburn Hills|
|Jameer Nelson||PG||Rodney Stuckey|
|J.J. Redick||SG||Ben Gordon|
|Vince Carter||SF||Jonas Jerebko|
|Ryan Anderson||PF||Charlie Villanueva|
|Dwight Howard||C||Ben Wallace|
The Orlando Magic will attempt to make their first 4-0 start in team history tonight against the Detroit Pistons, a particularly unfriendly foe. It's the perfect "trap game" for Orlando, as it's the more talented team, and its opponent is missing arguably its best player; Richard Hamilton sprained his ankle in the Pistons' season-opener and is out tonight, so free-agent signee/supersub Ben Gordon will start in his place.
Vince Carter, himself coming off an early-season ankle injury, hopes to return to the Magic's lineup tonight, and he will if he makes it through shootaround feeling okay. Without him, the Magic didn't miss any beats offensively, with J.J. Redick lighting up the Toronto Raptors for a Carter-like line of 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.
The game tips at 7:30. Detroit was the only Eastern team against which the Magic went winless last year, so even without Hamilton, this one could wind up challenging the visitors.
UPDATE: Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel filed this report at around 1 today, so it's several hours old. Still, here's what we know about Carter's availability tonight:
The Magic will make a game-time decision on whether shooting guard Vince Carter (sprained left ankle) will play tonight against the Detroit Pistons, but small forward Mickael Pietrus (flu-like symptoms) remained home in Orlando.
Carter particpated in shootaround Tuesday morning, but said he would decide during warmups.
UPDATE 2: Not injury-related, but interesting nonetheless, is this tactical note from the Detroit Pistons' official Twitter:
[Coach John] Kuester says Pistons will try to do some things early in game vs. Orlando to get Charlie V, averaging only 9 ppg, going offensively.
UPDATE 3: Vince Carter will play tonight, reports John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com. More shocking is the news, via the Detroit Pistons' official Twitter, that Tayshaun Prince will sit out with a lower back strain, which ends his consecutive games-played streak at 496.
UPDATE 4: Also from the Pistons' Twitter is the news that rookie Jonas Jerebko is expected to fill-in for Prince at small forward tonight. Jerebko has appeared in one game this season, playing 6 minutes, during which time he recorded 2 rebounds and 2 fouls. He has yet to attempt a shot at the NBA level.