Golden State Warriors @ Orlando Magic


The Orlando Magic will attempt to win their third straight game when they play host to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night. Since losing to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night, the Magic have defeated the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers. The Warriors are coming off a 110-106 loss against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

Golden State will be without their leading scorer, Monta Ellis, due to a strained lower back. The Warriors will also be without Corey Maggette (hamstring) and Andris Biedrins (groin).

These two teams met back on December 5th in Oakland. After trailing by five points with just over five minutes to go, the Magic ended the game on a 17-4 run and escaped with a 126-118 victory.

The Magic have improved to 41-20 while the Warriors are headed for the lottery once again – they are just  17-42. The Warriors have been especially bad on the road, winning just four times in 28 tries away from home this season. Orlando has been excellent at home posting a 23-6 record there.

Tip-off from the Am is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST and you can watch the game locally on Sun Sports and for the second consecutive game, it will be shown on NBA TV. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen to it locally on WDBO AM 580 and in Spanish on WONQ AM 1030.

The Line: Orlando -14.5



Dwight Howard

Rashard Lewis

Matt Barnes

Vince Carter

Jameer Nelson

Golden State

Ronny Turiaf

Anthony Tolliver

Anthony Morrow

Stephen Curry

C.J. Watson

If you like scoring, tune into to this one.

The Warriors play at a frantic pace (102.8, fastest in the league) and score 107.1 points per game, but they are only the 17th most offensively efficient team in the league.

The Warriors play absolutely no defense. They rank 25th in defensive efficiency and give up 110.6 points per game, which is by far the worst in the NBA.

The Magic struggled to defeat the Warriors back in early December, but it wasn’t because of a lack of offense. Orlando had six players score in double figures (with four players have at least 17 points) and shot an effective field goal percentage of 60.1%. Orlando struggled because of turnovers (16) and poor defense – they were torched by Monta Ellis (33 points) and Anthony Randolph (28 points). Ellis will not play in Wednesday night’s game and Randolph has not seen game action since January 8th because of an ankle injury.

Rookie Stephen Curry should carry the scoring load. If you haven’t seen Curry play, do yourself a favor and tune in. He has been fantastic this season, but he’s been especially good as of late. Curry, who is averaging 15.7 points and 5.3 assists per game on this season, averaged 21.5 points and 7.3 assists per game in the month of February while shooting 52.6% eFG. Anthony Morrow has also seen his scoring increase – he averaged 18.0 points per game during February, up from his season average of 13.0 points per game.

Point Guard C.J. Watson, who the Magic tried to acquire in the offseason, has also seen an increase in production. He’s averaging 18.0 points per game on 26-of-53 shooting over his last four games.

Orlando should have absolutely no trouble scoring against the Warriors. Dwight Howard and co. should be able to get whatever they want offensively.

Orlando is coming off their best offensive game of the season in a 126-105 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. If they put on a performance that even resembles that on Wednesday, it’s going to be a very long night for the Warriors.

Note: Mickael Pietrus, Matt Barnes and Adonal Foyle were all members of the 2006-2007 Warriors, who were the eight seed and upset top-seeded Dallas 4-games-to-2.

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