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Tonight's Game: Orlando Magic at Charlotte Bobcats - UPDATE: Rafer Alston Will Be Available

UPDATE 3: I was about ready to give up trying to make sense of Rafer Alston's potential availability tonight. Orlando Sentinel sports editor Tim Stephens reports via Twitter the trade is complete and Alston will be in uniform (#36) tonight in Charlotte. Finally, some closure.

Why the consternation on my part? The team's official website, in the link cited in UPDATE 2 below, said he would not play. However, a Flash graphic on the team's homepage says he could play, and yet another shows him in a Magic uniform (#1), spinning a basketball on his finger. The Magic's official Twitter says if he can play, he'll wear the team's "extra' uniform, #36. Moments before Stephens' confirmation Tweet, the Orlando Sentinel reported via Twitter that Alston's playing is "a possibility," but "we'll have to wait and see." Gah.

UPDATE 2: Rafer Alston won't be available, according to the team's official website.

The trade waters have settled, and the Magic are left with a brand new point guard to push them through the remainder of the season. Rafer Alston was acquired yesterday from the Houston Rockets and will help bolster a Magic backcourt that has Jameer Nelson out indefinitely. At 7 p.m. tonight, though, Alston will not be available when the Magic take on the Bobcats in Charlotte.

Bummer. In case you're curious, Alston will wear uniform #1, according to the team's official roster page.

UPDATE: Newly acquired point guard Rafer Alston could be in the lineup as soon as tonight if all the players involved in the deal pass their physicals, reports Brian Schmitz.

2008/2009 NBA Regular Season
Orlando Magic main logo
Charlotte Bobcats main logo
39-14 22-32
February 20th, 2009
Time Warner Cable Arena
7:00 PM
FSN Florida HD
Probable starters:
Anthony Johnson PG Raymond Felton
Mickael Pietrus SG Raja Bell
Hedo Turkoglu SF Gerald Wallace
Rashard Lewis PF Boris Diaw
Dwight Howard C Emeka Okafor
Previous Meetings:
November 16th: Magic 90, Bobcats 85
February 17th: Magic 107, Bobcats 102 (OT)

Quite honestly, I have nothing to say about the Orlando Magic's game against the Charlotte Bobcats tonight. They played three days ago, and although the Magic made a fairly significant trade yesterday by acquiring Rafer Alston (our analysis here), they did not surrender anyone of consequence, and I doubt Alston will be in uniform. As such, it's hard to expect anything to change from the previous game. Dwight Howard probably won't go for 45 points, 19 rebounds, and 8 blocks again, but he might. Maybe the Magic will enjoy a psychological boost, knowing that point guard help is on the way. Or maybe the Bobcats, who played out of their freaking minds on Tuesday, will come out eager for revenge and end up blasting the Magic by double-digits.

Tip's at 7 on FSN Florida. Go Magic.