Orlando Magic @ Denver Nuggets


The Orlando Magic are coming off of two blowout victories and look to extend their winning streak to three games when they travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets on Wednesday night. The Magic defeated the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night, outscoring the Kings 33-10 in the fourth quarter to earn a 109-88 come-from behind win. Denver, who lost to the Kings on Saturday, defeated Minnesota on Monday night.

Denver is an excellent home team at 16-3. The Magic have struggled on the road this season, usually play well on the road. They are 12-8 away from Amway this season.

Both teams were in the NBA’s final four last season and both teams were eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nuggets lost to the Lakers in six games in the Western Conference Finals while the Magic advanced to the finals and lost to the Lakers four games to one.

Tip-off from the Pepsi Center is set for 9:00 pm EST and the game will be shown by Sun Sports. 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: Denver – 5



Dwight Howard
Rashard Lewis
Matt Barnes
J.J. Redick
Jameer Nelson


Kenyon Martin
Carmelo Anthony
Arron Afflalo
Chauncey Billups

The two teams met twice last season. Orlando took the first meeting 106-88, completing a perfect west coast road trip. The Nuggets won the second matchup with a dominating defensive performance, 82-73. Dwight Howard average 17.5 rebounds per game in the two meetings.

Denver has one of the best offenses in the entire league. Not only are they third in points per game (106.8 points per game), but they ranked fourth in efficiency.

Denver’s offense is led by all-star Carmelo Anthony. Coming off the best all-around season of his career, Anthony is picking up right where he left off. He’s averaging 29.8 points per game on 47.1% shooting. Anthony is one of the most efficient players in the NBA, ranking sixth in PER (24.85).

Noted Magic killer Chauncey Billups is Denver’s point guard. He’s averaging 17.7 points per game but his shooting percentage has dropped to 40.6% (he shot 42% last season and 44.8% the season before that). Billups has been better as of late. Since returning from a groin injury, Billups is averaging 22.7 points per game and 6.0 assists per game. Billups averages 15.4 points per game, 5.7 assists per game and 3.0 rebounds per game in his career against the Magic. The Nuggets also have a very good backup to Billlups – rookie Ty Lawson, who is averaging 9.5 points per game and 3.9 assists per game.

All five Nuggets starters average in double-figures.

Denver’s defense is not nearly as good. They give up 101.9 points per game, which ranks 21st in the league and are just 17th in efficiency.

The Magic should have a clear edge on the boards. Denver is 22nd in rebounding rate (49.1%) and 21st in rebounds per game (40.9). The Magic are sixth in rebounding rate (51.4%) and fifth in total rebounds (43.5 per game).

With Kenyon Martin and Nene, the Nuggets have some defenders to throw at Dwight Howard.

The Nuggets have one of the best offenses in the league so the Magic must bring their best defensive effort to get a win.

(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.)