The Orlando Magic have a great opportunity to salvage something from their four-game road trip and end their four-game losing streak tonight when they face the L.A. Clippers, who own the NBA's worst record at 5-19. The Magic's experiment with a traditional starting frontline will continue tonight, as Brandon Bass will make his second straight start at power forward, thus shifting Rashard Lewis to small forward, Quentin Richardson to the bench, and Mickael Pietrus out of the rotation. And it seems as though Jason Williams will get the backup point guard minutes ahead of Chris Duhon, whose lack of offensive aggressiveness has dropped him out of favor with coach Stan Van Gundy for now.
The Magic have won their last seven meetings with the Clippers, and given their poor record, it might be easy to dismiss them. Don't. Rookie big man Blake Griffin and third-year shooting guard Eric Gordon sure can fill it up with their scoring, while Griffin add 11.7 rebounds per game as well. Between those two, and young center DeAndre Jordan, L.A. is set up pretty solidly for the future. The present sort of stinks because the roster around them is so horrid.
But as Steve Perrin of Clips Nation points out, the Clippers haven't been blown out in the last three weeks. For a team this bad to be as competitive as it's been, for this long a stretch? That's encouraging. The Magic simply can't afford to take this team lightly. Gordon and Griffin can provide the offense, and if L.A. somehow limits Dwight Howard and/or Orlando's three-pointers, the Magic could very well find themselves in the midst of its first five-game losing streak in the Stan Van Gundy era.
|2010/2011 NBA Season|
|15-8 (6-5 road) |
|5-19 (5-9 home) |
|December 11th, 2010|
|Jameer Nelson||PG||Eric Bledsoe|
|Vince Carter||SG||Eric Gordon|
|Rashard Lewis||SF||Al-Farouq Aminu|
|Brandon Bass||PF||Blake Griffin|
|Dwight Howard||C||DeAndre Jordan|
|2010/11 Advanced Stats|
|91.2 (19th)||Pace||92.0 (18th)|
|106.5 (15th)||ORtg||103.3 (25th)|
|101.1 (3rd)||DRtg||109.5 (23rd)|