Indiana Pacers @ Orlando Magic


The Orlando Magic raised their level of play against the Los Angeles Lakers but still couldn’t get the job done. They will get the chance to put an end to their three-game losing streak when they host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. The Pacers are coming off a blowout loss in Miami Tuesday night in Miami against the Heat. Before dropping that game and the previous game against the New Orleans Hornets, the Pacers had won three straight games.

The Pacers, who are 14-27, are absolutely awful on the road (4-17). The Magic have been very good at home – they’re 14-4 at Amway Arena.

Tip-off from the Am is set for 7:00 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.

Update: Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy said there no plans for major changes in Orlando’s lineup.

The Line: Orlando – 11.5



Dwight Howard
Rashard Lewis
Matt Barnes
Vince Carter
Jameer Nelson


Roy Hibbert
Troy Murphy
Danny Granger
Brandon Rush
Earl Watson

These two teams have met twice this season with each team winning on their home floor.

Orlando won the first meeting with a fourth quarter rally behind Dwight Howard’s 21 points, 23 rebounds and 4 blocks and Vince Carter’s 28-point, 7-rebound, 7-assist performance. It was arguably the best all-around game of the season for Carter.

In the second meeting, Roy Hibbert had the best game of his career scoring-wise with 26 points. The Magic shot just 38.4% from the field and the Pacers held on for a 97-90 victory.

Rookie Forward Tyler Hansbrough missed Tuesday’s loss against the Heat because of an ear infection.

The Magic are yet to see Danny Granger this season, but he is back from his injury and he is averaging 21.1 points per game since his return. In Indiana’s last two games, both losses, Granger has shot a combined 6-of-29 and is averaging just 10.0 points per game.

Indiana has not been a good team offensively. They score 98.9 points per game and rank 27th in efficiency. The Pacers are also a poor shooting team. They have an effective field goal percentage for 47.7%, sixth worst in the league. Outside of Granger, the Pacers don’t have many scorers. Troy Murphy is the team’s second-leading scorer. Murphy, who missed Indiana’s last game with the Magic, is averaging 14.1 points per game on 49.1% shooting.

Mike Dunleavy, Dahntay Jones and the inconsistent Hibbert are the other Pacers players who average double figures in scoring.

The Pacers also frequently turn the ball over – their turnover rate is 24.6%.

Former starting Point Guard T.J. Ford continues to sit out. Earl Watson has made 15 starts at Point Guard for the Pacers this season. Watson has been very inconsistent and did not give the Magic much trouble in their last meeting.

Orlando should have a clear edge on the glass. The Pacers are outrebounded by over 3.3 rebounds per game and grab just 48.1% of available rebounds on the season.

Indiana’s defense gives up a lot of points – 104.3 per game, but ranks 15th in efficiency.

The Pacers are coming off a 30-point loss in Miami and will have to play for the second night in a row.

This is a game the Magic should win easily, but how many times have we said that and seen the Magic lose an inferior team over the last few weeks? In fact, these very Pacers beat the Magic just two weeks ago.

(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.)