Orlando Magic (25-13, 10-8 road) vs. OKC Thunder (26-13, 14-6 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.3 (9th), Magic – 106.9 (13th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 107.3 (16th), Magic – 101.1 (4th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.4 (10th), Magic – 92.0 (18th)
View from the enemy: Magic Basketball
Big time game tonight in Oklahoma City. TNT visits for its first ever regular season broadcast in OKC, the Orlando Magic with their cast of stars are here and then there’s the whole this is two pretty good teams playing each other thing.
Orlando coming in: The Magic had won nine straight but lost last night in New Orleans. So naturally they’re going to be looking to get back on track tonight. However, last night’s game did go in to overtime, so maybe there will be some heavy legs.
Whoa boy some tough matchups all around. Dwight Howard is a nightmare for anyone in the league, but now having Brandon Bass next to him instead of the softer Rashard Lewis makes the Magic a pretty dominant interior team. So here’s where I say please dear Lord let Jeff Green grab a rebound (maybe two) and let’s hope for a good night from Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison off the bench.
Kevin Durant has a big edge on Hedo Turkoglu so that could be where OKC really focuses. Turkoglu can score and in the Orlando system has been much better.
Russell Westbrook really needs to play well against Jameer Nelson, but with Howard patrolling the middle, some of Westbrook’s dribble attacks at the rim might need to be more of the draw and kick variety.
The Magic look a bit scary with all that talent littered throughout the roster, but I think the Thunder has a good shot at them tonight. The home crowd, the chance at a statement on TNT and the fact that OKC has some talented players to match up with. The key will be points in the paint. If the Magic are getting baskets with ease at a high rate, it could be tough for the Thunder.
Defense will be the key for OKC. The Magic will defend, but if the Thunder doesn’t, they won’t have a chance.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go National Thunder.
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