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Bobcats @ Magic Preview: 3-on-3 with Magic Basketball

Who: Orlando Magic vs Charlotte Bobcats

What: NBA Basketball – Magic Home Game

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Live at Amway Center

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Orlando 15-37 99.6 (26) 105.3 (25) 93.8 (17)
Charlotte 12-40 98 (29) 108.2 (29) 94.4 (13)

Previous Meetings:
2012/12/15 – 107-98 – RecapBoxscore

2013/01/18 – 99-106 – RecapBoxscore

Orlando: Glen Davis (OUT)
Charlotte: Ben Gordon (Status Unknown)

Starting Lineups

Magic Bobcats
PG Jameer Nelson Kemba Walker
SG Arron Afflalo Gerald Henderson
SF Moe Harkless Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF Andrew Nicholson Byron Mullens
C Nikola Vucevic Bismack Biyombo
6th Man J.J. Redick Ramon Sessions

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network1- STATS: These two teams have split their two meetings so far this season and it seems as if the team who wins on the boards wins the game. The Magic won the first game in Charlotte and out-rebounded the Bobcats 43-31. In the second meeting in Orlando the Bobcats tied the series and out-rebounded the Magic 43-36. Is the battle on the boards the key to the game tonight?

Spencer: Seems that way. Orlando has split with Charlotte on the glass in two games, but make no mistake, the Magic are a far better rebounding team than the Bobcats. Orlando has a 50.5 (14th) Rebounding Rate on the season while Charlotte is dead last in the league at 47.7. If Biz and Adrien can get on the floor for a combined 40 minutes tonight and yank down 20 rebounds between the two of them then I like Charlotte’ chances.

Brett: I can be on board with that – the memory that most sticks with me from the Bobcats’ loss to the Magic earlier this year was Nikola Vucevic’s 4 offensive rebounds.  It felt like more at the time, as the Bobcats struggled to keep up with his energy on the offensive glass.  Charlotte needs to keep a body on him (and the rest of the team) to minimize easy followup baskets.  I know this is generic advice – but it stands out in my memory of this game.

Nate Drexler (Magic Basketball): Absolutely it is, which is a problem for Orlando. With Glen Davis on the bench and Andrew Nicholson finding himself a little undersized in many of his match ups, Orlando will need to put special emphasis on rebounding and protecting the ball. I view Charlotte as a “should win,” which means, “still need to do the little things if you’re going to win.” Rebounding is one of those things.

2- OVER/UNDER: In two games against Orlando this season, Kemba is averaging 28.5 PPG (52.7 FG%), 6 AST & 5 REB. Over/Under 22 PTS, 5 AST & 5 REB tonight?

Spencer: Over. Jameer Nelson doesn’t pose too much of a problem for Kemba defensively. Walker can get around Nelson easily and when he’s able to do that, Kemba tends to slice up most teams.

Brett: I’ll be optimistic and take the over.  Kemba struggled a bit going into the break, but the Magic aren’t exactly a defensive juggernaut.  The real question will be whether Kemba can keep Jameer Nelson from using his strength advantage to put up similar numbers.

Nate: Over. The Magic tend to struggle a bit when guarding strong perimeter players, and a lot of times you’ll see them concede buckets from one guy to solidify eleswhere (like the paint). I look for Kemba to get his 30 points tonight and continue his one man assault and deterioration of the Magic defense.

3- PICK IT: In two games this season, these teams seem to be as close to evenly matched as any opponent the Bobcats have faced. Who takes round 3?

Spencer: Bobcats. Not that the Bobcats sprinted into the all-star break, but Orlando really struggled down the stretch. Coming into tonight, the Magic have dropped 13 of their last 14 and are treading through the J.J. Redick trade rumors leading up to Thursday’s deadline. I have a feeling that Charlotte will come out strong after the all-star break.

Side note thought — Will Dunlap be forced by the front office to play Gordon in extended minutes for the next two night’s in a desperate attempt to raise trade value?

Brett: I’ll take the Bobcats.  If you take away the Bobcats start to the season, they are 5-35 – so a touch better than last year, but just barely.  However, the same could be said of the Magic – after starting 12-13, they are just 3-24 since that time.  That’s bad – real bad.  So, in the matchup of horrible teams, I say the Bobcats can take a win from a team that doesn’t make threes at a high rate.

Nate: Charlotte. Orlando is wounded and bleeding right now, and to me the failure ceiling is high for the Magic. They’ll need huge output from Nelson and Redick coupled with a monster game from Nik Vucevic if they are going to survive the cats.