Raptors (17-18) vs. Magic (24-10)
Time/TV: 7 p.m./FSFlorida
Key Matchup: Chris Bosh (25.7 PPG, 9.0 RPG vs. Magic this year) vs. Rashard Lewis (16.0 PPG, 35.7 3FG% vs. Raptors this year)
-Stan Van Gundy and the Magic are searching for answers after another disappointing road loss, this time to the lowly and injury-riddled Pacers. Player energy and, surprisingly, the offense have sputtered in the last few weeks culminating (hopefully) in last night’s 97-90 loss in Indianapolis.
-The unusually large amount of back-to-backs Orlando will face in the month of January will be a measure of how tough the defending Eastern Conference champions are, according to Van Gundy.
-Dwight Howard tells Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel that the problem the Magic have right now is not a lack of energy, but a lot of tight play. Howard said the team is trying so hard to win that sometimes everything kind of falls apart. Howard spoke to the team after last night’s game to address these issues.
-Jose Calderon is returning from a hip injury tonight and will not make a huge stink about not starting — like TJ Ford did with him a few years ago. Jarrett Jack will start and Calderon will work his way back into game condition from the bench, reports Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star.
-SportsCenter favorite Pops Mensah-Bansu was cut by the Raptors as a casualty of the looming. guaranteed contract deadline.
-Ben Q Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post analyzes the Magic’s recent road struggles.
-Raps Fan of Raptors Republic knows Toronto has to be able to steal some wins in order to make the playoffs. Tonight is a perfect opportunity for them to take advantage of a tired and struggling Orlando team.
-Scott of RaptorBlog wonders whether Chris Bosh is a top 10 player.
-In his PER Diem, John Hollinger wonders whether Orlando and Toronto have any buyer’s remorse from their small forward swaps for Hedo Turkoglu and Vince Carter (Insider Only).