Los Angeles Clippers @ Orlando Magic


The Orlando Magic are coming off a big win over the Los Angeles Lakers and on Tuesday night, they will attempt to beat a team from the same town when they play host to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers are reeling, having lost their last three games and five of their last six. The Magic have won their last five games and seven of their last eight.

The Clippers were very busy during the trade deadline. They acquired Drew Gooden from Washington in exchange for Al Thornton and sent Sebastian Telfair to Cleveland. In that same deal, Cleveland acquired Antawn Jamison and Washington acquired Zydrunas Ilgauskus. The Clippers also sent Center Marcus Camby to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake.  Back on February 4th, the Clippers also announced that Head Coach Mike Dunleavy was stepping down. Kim Hughes replaced him and the Clippers are 4-10 since the move was made.

The Magic defeated the Clippers on December 8th 97-86.

The Clippers are once again heading to the lottery with a record of 25-38. The Magic are now 44-20, just two games behind the Lakers and 5.5 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for the best record in the NBA. The Clippers are 18-14 at home but are just 7-25 on the road. The Magic have protected Amway Arena well, posting a record of 25-6 there, including wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland, Boston and Atlanta.

Tip-off from the Am is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST and the game will be shown on FSN Florida. 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 – 11.5


Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
Rashard Lewis
Matt Barnes
Vince Carter
Jameer Nelson

Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Kaman
Drew Gooden
Travis Outlaw
Rasual Butler
Baron Davis Steve Blake

These two teams met back on December 8th during one of Orlando’s west coast road trips. Orlando took an early 10-point lead, but they couldn’t put the Clippers away, allowing them to chip away at the lead and even held a one-point lead with 2:23 to go in the third quarter. The Magic played lock down defense the rest of the way and outscored the Clippers 29-17 from that point on. Jameer Nelson missed the game with a torn meniscus but Jason Williams did a great job of filling in, scoring 16 points and dishing out 3 assists. Dwight Howard led the Magic with 25 points, 8 rebounds, 7 blocks and 5 assists. Eric Gordon scored 21 points while Baron Davis had 18 points and 11 assists.

The Clippers’ offense has not been good. They score 95.7 points per game and rank just 25th in efficiency. The Clippers are led offensively by All-Star Center Chris Kaman, who is scoring 19.4 points per game grabbing 9.4 rebounds per game.

Second-year Guard Eric Gordon gave the Magic trouble back in their first meeting, but he is listed as questionable and missed Saturday’s night game in Utah.

Baron Davis is a big, strong point guard that really did a good job of getting his teammates involved in their first meeting. Davis is averaging 15.0 points per game and is shooting 38.9% from the field, some of the lowest numbers of his career, but Davis is putting up 7.9 assists per game.

The Magic come in with the league’s third-most efficient defense and give up just 95.5 points per game. Center Dwight Howard has the task of covering the Clippers’ leading scorer, Kaman.

The Clippers’ defense has played much better in comparison with their offense. They give up 100.8 points per game but rank 13th in defensive efficiency.

The two teams play at almost identical pace (ORL – 94.9, LAC – 94.8).

Orlando would like to try to clean up their turnover issues. Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy has been harping on that all season. The Magic turned the ball over 20 times against the Lakers on Sunday.

Orlando needs to avoid a hangover from the big win on Sunday. If they come out, keep their energy high and their intensity up, they should dispatch of the Clippers.

Coincidently, Orlando won their sixth straight game when they beat the Clippers in December.

(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).