(41-18) vs. (40-22)
Line: Magic by 1.5
Tickets: $46-$551 on TiqIQ
–The deadline to sign a buyout player and have him play in the playoffs came and passed without any movement by the Magic. Otis Smith told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel he likes the team he has.
–Reaction is everywhere to Orlando’s 24-point comeback in Miami last night. Jeff Fogle of HoopData writes Thursday’s come-from-behind win over the Heat gave a blurry picture of both the Heat and the Magic. Matt Moore of Pro Basketball Talk says it is the most the Magic defense has buckled down since its 2009 Finals run (and Chris Bosh is not clutch). I believed the Magic regained some of their identity in the win. Gilbert Arenas even tried to cool down his face. Royce Young of Eye on Basketball wrote about how the Magic’s outside shooting led the Magic back into the game. Eddy Rivera of Magic Basketball advises never to question the heart of an underdog.
–Jameer Nelson will be wearing a special black wristband tonight to honor 13-year-old Na’Twan Williams who was shot and killed in Sanford last week. Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel has the story on why Nelson is honoring this middle school basketball phenom.
–John Hollinger of ESPN Insider analyzes whether Orlando and Miami can still be properly considered contenders.
–Rasual Butler is likely to make his debut tonight for the Bulls and Joakim Noah is happy for Corey Brewer, who signed with the Mavericks, Herb Gould of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
–Stan Van Gundy would like to see the NBA re-examine its rules regarding buyouts, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports.
–Ric Bucher and Chris Broussard of ESPN Insider debate where Dwight Howard might land if (and I repeat IF) he decided to leave Orlando.
–Diego of Leaving It All on the Court writes last night’s defeat might be the worst loss for the Heat this season.