|2009/2010 NBA Season|
|December 16th, 2009|
|Jarrett Jack||PG||Jason Williams|
|DeMar DeRozan||SG||Vince Carter|
|Hedo Turkoglu||SF||Mickael Pietrus|
|Chris Bosh||PF||Rashard Lewis|
|Andrea Bargnani||C||Dwight Howard|
|November 1st: Magic 125, Raptors 116|
|November 22nd: Magic 104, Raptors 96|
The Orlando Magic will try to ensure a season-series win against the Toronto Raptors tonight at Amway Arena. Toronto, the league's least-efficient defensive teams, suffered a 20-point defeat in Miami last night after allowing 52 points in the paint. And in two prior meetings with Orlando this year, the Raptors yielded an average of 13 three-pointers, so they're vulnerable from the outside as well. The trick with Toronto is, as always, slowing its potent offense. Chris Bosh is a perennial All-Star, and deservedly so, and yet he always manages to look even better against the Magic and his good friend Dwight Howard.
Speaking of good friends, Hedo Turkoglu, who spent the last 5 seasons with the Magic, will return to Orlando for the first time since GM Otis Smith facilitated a sign-and-trade deal to give him the long-term contract he desired. This comment from Smith, which appeared in this morning's Orlando Sentinel, caught my eye:
"I'm a Turk fan, but our mission and goal is to win a championship."
Turk's had a decent year in Toronto, averaging 14 points and 4 assists on stellar shooting percentages (51.4 eFG%, 56.5 TS%). Yet the Raptors have not kept him in the playmaking role in which he flourished in Orlando over the last 2 seasons, as his usage rate is at its lowest level since the 2003/04 season. The decreased usage has made him a more efficient player, but it's also made him almost a standstill shooter.
The game tips at 7. Wish I could be there to hear Hedo's ovation and what figures to be an entertaining game.