TIME: 7 p.m. LOCATION: Amway Arena TV: FSN
The Pacers have had no answer for Dwight Howard this season. In two games against Indiana, Dwight is averaging 28 points, 19 rebounds and 4.5 blocks. Those are Michael Beasley numbers. The three-headed monster of Jeff Foster, Rasho Nesterovic and Roy Hibbert will be busy fouling Howard down low. Hibbert is finally back from a concussion…
His medicine: Superman. Gotta love that Danny Granger-Hedo Turkoglu matchup… NOT. Granger has his way with just about every defender not named LeBron James, and his quickness will be too much for Hedo, as it has been this season. Granger has scored 48 points in two games against the Magic this season.
Courtney Lee, who usually guards the other team’s best player and is Orlando’s best healthy on-ball defender, will be busy challenging Mike Dunleavy Jr., who’s averaging 15 points per game since returning from injury a couple weeks ago. Dunleavy Jr. is exactly the kind of player who would’ve killed the Magic before this season – a decent, slightly above-average player thrusted into greatness by the putridity of Orlando’s defense.
The Magic have stepped up the defense this season, but I still don’t like this matchup.
Dunleavy is 6’8 and strong, while Lee is 6’5 and not that strong. Troy Murphy, the Pacers power forward with a penchant for rebounding, will look to turn some Granger and Dunleavy bricks into second-chance baskets.
With Stan Van Gundy so heated over offensive rebounds in recent weeks, expect Rashard Lewis to be working hard at keeping Murphy off the offensive glass. I think the Magic get back on track this one, and win by double digits. Even though it’s against a weak team, a bounce-back win will be nice for this team’s psych.