What They’re Saying: Rockets vs. Magic 12/23

Rockets (17-11) vs. Magic (21-7)
Time/TV: 7 p.m./FSFlorida, NBATV
Key Matchup: Trevor Ariza (17.0 PPG) vs. Vince Carter (18.6 PPG)

Jameer Nelson had a decent return Monday night against the Jazz (got where he wanted, but did not have his legs under him for jumpers). But after just one game back, Orlando’s projected starting lineup will be back together for just the second game this season as Nelson will start tonight against Houston, Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel reports.

-Schmitz also reports the team is responding to newer, more positive Stan Van Gundy.

-With Tracy McGrady back in town, Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel wishes a holiday greeting to Jon Weisbrod for unloading “Me-Mac” and paving the way for drafting Dwight Howard.

Houston’s bench stepped up in the team’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers last night. The Rockets are riding a season-best three-game winning streak into Amway Arena and Tracy McGrady is apparently in “vintage form.”

-Florida State alum and former Rocket guard Von Wafer has bought out his contract with Greek’s Olympiacos and is set to rejoin the Rockets pending a physical, Jeffrey Martin of the Houston Chronicle reports. UPDATE: Wafer apparently failed that physical and grungedave of The Dream Shake speculates why.

Shane Battier and Carl Landry react to the news that TMZ will launch a sports site in 2010.

-Eddy Rivera provides a deeper look into JJ Redick’s maturation and general improvement this year for Orlando Pinstriped Post.

-Andrew Melnick of HowardTheDunk has been impressed with how the Magic have won the last two games with grit and determination rather than relying solely on their offensive prowess.

-With Von Wafer failing his physical, Houston signed Mike Harris from their D-League squad.

-And, of course, never forget 1995.