Toronto Raptors @ Orlando Magic


The Orlando Magic look to bounce back after a poor road trip that saw them lose two games to teams with sub-.500 records. The Magic will play another team that’s below .500 when they take on the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

The Magic, who have really struggled on the road as of late, should be happy to get back to Amway and play in front of the home crowd. The Raptors enter the game with a record of 17-18 but they’ve won six of their last seven games including a win over San Antonio on Sunday. The Raptors are a terrible road team and have a 5-13 record there. Orlando is 13-3 at home.

Tip-off from the Am is set for 7:00 pm EST and the game will be shown by FSN. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can hear it locally on WDBO 580 AM and in Spanish on WONQ AM 1030.

The Line: Orlando -7



Dwight Howard
Rashard Lewis
Matt Barnes
Vince Carter
Jameer Nelson


Andrea Bargnani
Chris Bosh
Hedo Turkoglu
DeMar DeRozan
Jarrett Jack

Hedo Turkoglu (illness) and Jose Calderon (hip) are expected to return to action Wednesday night. Calderon, who is the usual starter at Point Guard, has missed the last 10 games and will come off the bench on Wednesday night.

Calderon has traditionally given the Magic some trouble but it’s unlikely that he will get a lot of playing time in his first game.

This is the fourth meeting between the two teams this year. Orlando has taken the first three, including a 118-99 blowout win in Orlando on December 16.

The Raptors have one of the league’s best offenses. They score 103.0 points per game and rank fourth in offensive efficiency. Chris Bosh is leading the way and is having an MVP caliber season. Bosh, who always torches the Magic, is averaging 23.7 points per game on 51.8% shooting, 11.3 rebounds per game and 1.11 blocks per game. As mentioned before on HTD, Chris Bosh has had possibly the three best games of his career against the Magic, posting a 41-point, 8-rebound game in 2007, a 40-point game in 2008 and a 40-point, 18-rebound performance last season.

Andrea Bargnani is having a nice year offensively. He’s hitting 47.2% of his shots and is scoring 16.7 points per game.

Former Magic Forward and fan favorite Hedo Turkoglu has been a disappointment since arriving in Toronto. He’s scoring just 13.5 points per game on 42.8% shooting. He’s averaging 4.6 rebounds per game and 4.5 assists per game. All of those numbers aside from his shooting percentage are down from a year ago.

Defensively, the Raptors have a chance to be historically bad. They are last in efficiency and give up 105.1 points per game. The Raptors have been better on defense lately, which is why they have won six of their past seven games. Magic Color Man Matt Guokas gave partial credit to the absence of Calderon for Toronto’s improved defense but acknowledged that there are other factors.

Outside of Bosh, the Raptors are a poor rebounding team so the Magic must take advantage on the boards.
The Magic need to come out with energy and give a good complete-game effort to get out of this funk they are in.

RaptorsHQ has their keys to the game for Toronto here.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)