|2008/2009 NBA Regular Season|
|April 15th, 2009|
|Sun Sports HD|
|D.J. Augustin||PG||Rafer Alston|
|Raymond Felton||SG||Courtney Lee|
|Gerald Wallace||SF||Mickael Pietrus|
|Boris Diaw||PF||Tony Battie|
|Emeka Okafor||C||Dwight Howard|
|November 16th: Magic 90, Bobcats 85|
|February 17th: Magic 107, Bobcats 102 (OT)|
|February 20th: Magic 92, Bobcats 80|
So, here it is: the last game of the Orlando Magic's season. Last month, it looked like it'd be a bit more significant, as the Charlotte Bobcats were in playoff contention. However, literally nothing is at stake in this game, and as such it is only a final playoff tune-up for the Magic, who hope to avoid losing their 4th straight game to a lottery team to close out the regular season; and for some of the Bobcats--guys like Cartier Martin, Dontell Jefferson, and Juwan Howard--who are looking to prove they belong in the NBA. And don't be fooled by the Bobcats' poor record. It's still a franchise-best, and although their long-term financial outlook is bleak, you should still respect the job they've done on the floor this year.
So the lineup chart posted above should be accurate in terms of who will literally start the game, but I can almost guarantee you that none of the starters, save for the rookies D.J. Augustin of Charlotte and Courtney Lee of Orlando, will play more than 15 minutes. Hedo Turkoglu is out and Rashard Lewis listed as doubtful, as he was unable to complete this morning's walkthrough, according to the Orlando Sentinel. At least Dwight Howard will be available.
But it might as well be the preseason, really. The game is merely academic. If Dwight blocks 9 shots, he'll reach 237 for the season, which would give him a per-game average of exactly 3.0. So, um, there's one thing to watch for, as well as Jeremy Richardson's last chance to gun as a member of the Magic. His propensity to shoot often in limited minutes has become a bit of a private gag among Magic fans, and it falls squarely into the "it's funny because it's true" category: Richardson's usage rate--that is, the number of team possessions he uses--of 24.1 is in line with the likes of Chris Bosh, Stephen Jackson, and Zach Randolph, three guys who are earning franchise-player-level salaries. And that's the last advanced statistic I'll mention in a regular-season game preview this year.
The game starts at 8 on Sun Sports and will be broadcast in HD.