Grizzlies (39-36) vs. Magic (53-23)
Time/TV: 6 p.m./Sun Sports
Key Matchup: Zach Randolph (20.8 PPG, 11.7 RPG; 23 points, 19 rebounds vs. Magic on Jan. 25) vs. Rashard Lewis (14.3 PPG, 38.9% 3FG%; 19 points, 4/8 3FG vs. Grizzlies on Jan. 25)
Season Series: Lost 99-94 in Memphis on Jan. 25; Tonight in Orlando.
-Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel give Magic analyst Matt Guokas a chance to recant when he said Dwight Howard is a better defensive center than Bill Russell. Guokas, who played against Russell, declined the opportunity and explains his reasoning.
-Matt Barnes and Stan Van Gundy shrugged off their little spat from Friday’s game.
-Dwight Howard left San Antonio frustrated with himself, the refs, fans and the Spurs’ defense. Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel writes these are the very same things (except maybe the Spurs) Howard will have to fight in the postseason.
-Moving is always a hassle. While the Magic are expecting to sell a record number of season tickets, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel writes that some fans, including an Orlando/Amway Arena icon, are unhappy with where they might have to move.
-A bond rating service has downgraded Orlando’s bonds on the Amway Center to “junk” status, which could be very bad for the city. While the arena itself is not in jeopardy, the city and county could be forced to pay a lot of money on defaulted loans. Mark Schlueb and David Damron of The Orlando Sentinel details what all this could mean.
-The Magic announced their plans to commemorate 21 years in Amway Arena for the final four home games.
-Lionel Hollins has yet to agree to a contract extension with the Grizzlies. Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes the two sides have been negotiating for a while now, and it could put a damper on the team’s quest for a winning season.
-There are lots of individual reasons why Memphis is missing the playoffs but they all added up to 16 losses after having a double-digit lead, writes Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
-Mickael Pietrus is starting to round into playoff form, writes John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com.
-Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld wonders where the Grizzlies go this summer to continue the surprising improvements they made this season.
-Andrew Melnick of Howard the Dunk takes a look back at Tracy McGrady’s 62-point game, since McGrady is back in the news.
-Friday night was turn back the clock night for Manu Ginobili against the Magic on Friday, writes Jesse Blanchard of 48 Minutes of Hell.
-Emotions got the best of everybody in San Antonio as Orlando lost Friday night, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports.
-Orlando lost some of its composure in San Antonio as Matt Barnes got into a spat with a fan behind the bench, Dwight Howard got frustrated with his poor free throw shooting and fouls and Manu Ginobili went bonkers with 43 points in San Antonio’s win. Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel recaps the game.
-Manu Ginobili jokingly said he wanted $90 million like Kobe if San Antonio were to extend his contract. Then he scored 43 points against the Magic. Incentive indeed.
-LatinD of Pounding the Rock concludes after the Spurs’ win over the Magic, the Spurs are still pretty good.
-Even though the Grizzlies seem all but eliminated from the postseason, O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay led them to their 39th victory of the season Friday over the Hornets. Memphis is still going after a winning season.
-Memphis coach Lionel Hollins had another team meeting hoping to develop the single focus that propelled his team to its surprising start. It worked, writes Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, as the Grizzlies topped the Hornets on Friday.
-Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel repeats he does not want Tracy McGrady back in Orlando.
-Matthew Noe from Three Shades of Blue is extremely excited the Grizzlies were able to hold onto a double digit lead and get a win Friday over the Hornets. Memphis is now three wins away from going from 24 wins to a winning season.
-Charles Barkley heaped lots of praise on a couple Magic players during Thursday’s TNT broadcast. He said Dwight Howard is going to be a superstar and could be in some elite company. He also called Mickael Pietrus the most underrated player in the NBA.
-Marc Gasol and Ronnie Brewer will miss the rest of the season due to injury.
-Sebastian Pruiti of NBAPlaybook.com breaks down a late-game mess up by Sam Young in Memphis’ loss to Dallas earlier this week.