The San Antonio Spurs (9-5) continue to look for their first elusive road win (0-5) as they visit the Orlando Magic (10-3) tonight in Orlando, Florida. The Spurs also want to get the bad thought of a 22-point loss they suffered Tuesday to Miami off their mind.
The Magic are 10-3 and on a five game winning streak, but don’t let their record fool you. The Magic are 2-2 against playoff teams as they’ve lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls, but defeated the Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks (if you count 6-7 a playoff team?).
In fact, the Magic are on a five game winning streak after defeating the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday 96-89, but the five teams they defeated are the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Bobcats whose combined record is 26-42.
Also keep in mind that the Magic are finishing their third night of a back-to-back-to-back sequence.
Lineup for Magic (projected starters underlined)
All statistics below were averages from the Magic’s first 12 games.
Backcourt: Jameer Nelson (7.9 points, 5.5 assists), J.J. Redick(12.9 points), Chris Duhon, Larry Hughes, Von Wafer, DeAndre Liggins
The Wing: Hedo Turkoglu (14.4 points, 5.1 assists, 48% 3PT), Quentin Richardson
Frontcourt: Dwight Howard (19.4 points, 14.8 rebounds, 2.25 blocks, 1.5 steals), Ryan Anderson (18.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 45% 3PT), Glen Davis (8.6 points), Earl Clark, Justin Harper, Daniel Orton
Injuries: Jason Richardson-bone bruise, left knee, day-to-day
Magic’s offense: The team runs through Dwight Howard (12.2 FGA), Ryan Anderson (13.3 FGA), and Hedo Turkoglu (11.1 FGA). Redick is also a key role player (8.9 FGA) as is Glen Davis off the bench (8.8 FGA), and Jameer Nelson will be running the whole offense (7.6 FGA).
The Magic’s defense holds their opponents to 92.9 points per game and 44% shooting from the field. The Magic average 98.4 points per game on offense and shoot 47% from the field.
Spurs lineup (probable starters underlined)
Backcourt: Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal, Cory Joseph, James Anderson
The Wing: Richard Jefferson, Danny Green
Frontcourt: Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair, Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner, Malcolm Thomas
Injuries: Manu Ginobili-broken fifth metacarpal, T.J. Ford-torn left hamstring
The Spurs have the advantage in the backcourt and wing positions, but the real test will be how the Spurs’ frontline contains Howard, Anderson, and bruiser “Big Baby” Davis. If the Spurs’ frontcourt can stay out of foul trouble with Howard, then they will have a shot at earning their first road win of the season.
Keep an eye on the fatigue level of some of the starters, Parker in particular looked gassed in the third quarter against Miami and didn’t play in the fourth quarter. Duncan, Blair, and Leonard also didn’t play in the fourth quarter against Miami.