Tonight, the Orlando Magic officially open their season when they host the Southeast Division rival Washington Wizards at Amway Center. John Wall, the Wizards' top overall selection in June's Draft, may be a point guard, but the parallels between him and Magic center Dwight Howard are numerous, as Antonio Gonzalez writes. And while it's the first regular-season game for the Magic at Amway Center, coach Stan Van Gundy isn't getting sentimental. Washington is a young team--and Wall its unquestioned leader--so its coach, Flip Saunders, wants his guys to handle "the haymaker" the Magic will throw at them early. Truth About It doesn't think Washington can handle the matchup problems the Magic pose. I expect the Magic to give Howard plenty of post-up opportunities against the athletic-but-foul-prone JaVale McGee early. Defensively, it's all about stopping Wall's penetration and otherwise letting the Wizards take long two-pointers, as they're prone to do. Wall is a one-man fast break, so taking care of the ball, and thus limiting the Wizards' transition opportunities, is another must.
The game is scheduled to tip at 8, but given that it's opening night and the team has encouraged its fans to make their way to their seats before 7:55 so as to not miss the pregame festivities, it's more likely to start around 8:15 or so. TNT will televise the game, and I'll be there live to cover the proceedings.
|2010/2011 NBA Season|
|0-0 (0-0 road)||0-0 (0-0 home)|
|October 28th, 2010|
|John Wall||PG||Jameer Nelson|
|Kirk Hinrich||SG||Vince Carter|
|Al Thornton||SF||Quentin Richardson|
|Andray Blatche||PF||Rashard Lewis|
|JaVale McGee||C||Dwight Howard|
|2009/10 Advanced Stats|
|91.6 (21st)||Pace||92.0 (18th)|
|103.2 (25th)||ORtg||111.4 (4th)|
|109.4 (18th)||DRtg||103.3 (3rd)|