(18-12) vs. (9-21)
Line: Magic by 6.5
–Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel has some comments on the 10-second free throw violation called on Dwight Howard, who often appears to be late or the last one to arrive to team and media functions. There may also be a double standard in the counting for Dwight.
–LeBron James recently made some comments that contraction would be good for the league, specifically mentioning redistributing Kevin Love of the Timberwolves and Devin Harris of the Nets. It is a notion New Jersey head coach Avery Johnson vehemently disagrees with. James has tried to move off those comments.
–Jason Williams did not join the Magic on their trip to New Jersey and Cleveland to get another look at his sore left foot. Williams might be staring at the end of his career, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel reports.
–Is Gilbert Arenas not taking it to the basket enough? The numbers suggest that he is not. And Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post suggests Arenas will have to do something about his inefficient shooting.
–After Saturday’s win, it is finally feeling like 2009 for the Magic.
–Brandon Bass is really stepping up, Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post writes.
–JJ Redick struggled out of the gate, fueling talk he may have just been settling in after receiving a three-year deal. But recently, Redick has been tearing it up.
–Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated writes if the Magic want to keep Dwight Howard, they will have to win and defeat teams like the Celtics.
–Al Iannazzone of Nets Insider says Avery Johnson took time during the first practice after Christmas to address each individual player in front of the team and name something they are doing well and what they still need to improve on. It is part of his strategy to improve the Nets from within.
–Avery Johnson said rookie center Derrick Favors would move into the starting lineup by the midpoint of the season. Through 31 games, Colin Stephenson of The Newark Star-Ledger reports Favors is no closer to cracking the team’s starting lineup.
–Quentin Charles of Sir Charles in Charge came away from Thursday’s game against San Antonio believing Orlando had improved its roster.
–Multiple news outlets, including the Charlotte Observer and Sports Illustrated, are reporting the Bobcats are offering Boris Diaw for Jason Richardson, in hopes the Magic will bite because of their lack of front court depth.
–Looking for clues as to how Mikhail Prokhorov might run the Nets? Look no further than Russia’s Biathlon Team. Patience seems to be Prokhorov’s thing.
–Devin Kharpertian of Nets Are Scorching writes New Jersey has had some good moments despite splitting two games last week. The role players seem to be coming into their own, while the Carmelo Anthony trade looms over everything.