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Memphis Grizzlies @ Orlando Magic


The Orlando Magic will attempt to bounce back from a 112-100 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night when they play host to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday evening. It will be the first game in a three-game homestand for the Magic. Memphis is the only team in the NBA that the Magic have not defeated. The Grizzlies are three games over .500 but because of the competitiveness of the Western Conference, they will not be going to the postseason. The Grizzlies also played Friday night, defeating the New Orleans Hornets 107-96.

These two teams met at the FedEx Forum in Memphis on January 25th. The Grizzlies rallied in the fourth quarter to earn a 99-94 victory.


The 39-36 Grizzlies are one of the most improved teams in the entire league. The Magic have a near-insurmountable lead for the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 53-23. The Grizzlies are just 16-20 on the road this season while the Magic have been great at home, posting a record of 30-7 at Amway Arena.

Tip-off from the Am is scheduled for 6:00 pm EST. The game will be aired locally by Sun Sports. 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.

Ronnie Brewer (partially torn right hamstring), Marc Gasol (partially torn neck muscle), and former Magic first round pick Steven Hunter (sore left knee) are out for the remainder of the season.

The Line: Orlando – 9.5


Memphis Grizzlies

Hasheem Thabeet
Zach Randolph
Rudy Gay
O.J. Mayo
Mike Conley

Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
Rashard Lewis
Matt Barnes
Vince Carter
Jameer Nelson

Back on January 25th, the Grizzlies rallied in the fourth quarter behind a dominating performance by Zach Randolph, who had 23 points and 19 rebounds to defeat the Magic. The Grizzlies grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and held the overall rebounding advantage 45-37. O.J. Mayo added 20 points and seven rebounds. Dwight Howard also had a fantastic night – he scored 27 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, blocked six shots and dished out three assists in the loss.

The Grizzlies score 102.8 points per game and rank 14th in offensive efficiency (105.1). They give up 103.2 points per game and rank 19th in defensive efficiency (106.7). They play at a fairly quick pace, ranking ninth in the league in that category (96.1).

The Grizzlies will present problems on the glass. In terms of rebounding rate, Orlando is tied for third in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs with a rate of 51.8%, but the Grizzlies are the league’s best rebounding team (52.6%). They have taken a bit of a step back rebounding the ball without Center Marc Gasol, but they are still very good.

The Grizzlies, offensively, are lead by Zach Randolph, who has had an excellent season. He’s averaging 20.8 points per game on 49.1% shooting and is grabbing 11.7 rebounds per game. Rudy Gay (19.7 points per game) and O.J. Mayo (17.9 points per game) account for over half of the Grizzlies points per game.

Gay has averaged 19.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in six career games against the Magic.

Four Grizzlies – Randolph, Gay, Mayo and Point Guard Mike Conley have started at least 73 games for the Grizzlies. Conley is scoring 11.5 points and dishing out 5.4 assists per game.

Despite his struggles on Friday night (10 points, six rebounds), Dwight Howard should be in for a big night if he is often matched up with rookie Hasheem Thabeet. Thabeet was sent down to the D-League at one point this season and is averaging just 3.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 12.0 minutes per game. The #2 pick in the draft played better in March, averaging 4.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game, but is still no match for Howard.

Jameer Nelson has struggled in his career against the Grizzlies, averaging just 9.8 points per game on 42.7% shooting in nine games. On the other hand, in 21 games against the Grizzlies, Vince Carter has averaged 24.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.

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