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Tonight's Orlando Magic Game: vs. Milwaukee Bucks

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The Orlando Magic can keep the good times rolling tonight against the injury-laden Milwaukee Bucks, against whom they can earn their season-best seventh consecutive victory. Remarkably, just one Magic man from December's loss to Milwaukee is assured playing time tonight: that'd be Brandon Bass. The other seven players in tonight's rotation were either injured, ill, or on other teams entirely that night, when Andrew Bogut tore the Magic apart with 31 points and 18 rebounds. Bogut will play tonight, but he'll have to tangle with Dwight Howard inside, not the less-than-lethal duo of Marcin Gortat and Malik Allen.

Milwaukee's having a strange season in that it used the offseason to address offense, particularly foul-drawing, which limited it in the prior campaign. The Bucks, in Corey Maggette and Drew Gooden, got exactly the sort of players they needed... but their offense is worse, and is indeed the league's least-efficient, due to historically bad shooting. Only eight teams in the last ten seasons, and none since Howard's rookie season of 2004/05, have posted an effective field goal percentage worse than Milwaukee's so far. The Bucks' offense is the only one in the league managing to score less than one point per possession. In this respect, it's worse than the 12-win New Jersey Nets' from last year.

But the Nets, and indeed few teams, can count on the same level of night-to-night defensive excellence Milwaukee can, which is why it'll remain in the playoff hunt despite laughably horrid offense. If the Magic can't hit their shots, either, we might be in for an 84-80 slugfest featuring shooting percentages in the mid-to-high thirties. Think the Magic and Boston Celtics on Christmas Day, only without the national television, scrutiny, and excitement.

2010/2011 NBA Season
Milwaukee Bucks main logo
@
Orlando Magic main logo
13-19 (5-12 road)
Lost 1
22-12 (13-5 home)
Won 6
January 5th, 2011
Amway Center
7:00 PM
Fox Sports Florida
Probable Starters
Keyon Dooling PG Jameer Nelson
John Salmons SG Jason Richardson
Luc Mbah a Moute SF Hedo Turkoglu
Ersan Ilyasova PF Brandon Bass
Andrew Bogut C Dwight Howard
Season Series
December 4th: Bucks 96, Magic 85
2010/11 Advanced Stats
90.4 (T-24th) Pace 92.0 (T-17th)
99.9 (30th) ORtg 106.7 (13th)
102.3 (6th) DRtg 101.2 (4th)
Game Officials
Dick Bavetta
Olandis Poole
Scott Wall