Washington Wizards @ Orlando Magic


Even after their win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday gave the Orlando Magic a win over every single team in the NBA and Atlanta’s loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night gave the Magic their third straight Southeast Division Title and the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Magic still feel like they have work to do. And they’ll get back to work on Wednesday night when they host the Washington Wizards. The Wizards have been playing well. They’ve won three out of their last four games, including a 112-94 blowout victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. Orlando’s win on Sunday was their 17th victory in their last 21 games.

The Magic struggled with the Wizards early in the season, losing their first two games against the Wizards – 104-97 on January 8th in Washington and 92-91 on February 5th in Orlando before finally defeating the Wizards 109-95 in Orlando on March 13th.


The Wizards are just 24-53 and have had one of the most difficult seasons in franchise history with Gilbert Arenas’ gun troubles and the trades of Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. The Magic, on the other hand, have had a great season, coming in at 54-23. The Wizards are 10-28 on the road while the Magic have been excellent at home, posting a 31-7 record at Amway Arena.

The game was originally scheduled to start at 8:00 pm EST and be aired by ESPN, but plans have changed.

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

Both Randy Foye (torn ligament/cyst in left wrist) and Josh Howard (left knee surgery) are out for the remainder of the season. Al Thornton is out indefinitely with a strained right hip flexor. Quinton Ross missed Tuesday’s game with a bruised lower back.

The Line: Orlando – 14


Washington Wizards

Fabricio Oberto
Andray Blatche
Mike Miller
Nick Young
Shaun Livingston

Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
Rashard Lewis
Matt Barnes
Vince Carter
Jameer Nelson

The Wizards’s offense ranks 25th in offensive rating (104.0) and score 96.1 points per game. They give up 100.7 points per game and rank 18th in defense rating (109.0). They play at a fairly slow pace (91.6, 21st in the NBA).

Andray Blatche had carried the scoring load for the Wizards. He averaged 21.1 points per game in February and 20.5 points per game in March. His most impressive game may have been his 20-point, 13-assist, nine-rebound near-triple double against the New Jersey Nets on Sunday night. Blatche has scored 14.7 points per game against the Magic this season, but only got heavy playing time on March 13th and he took advantage, scoring 32 points on 14-of-23 shooting. Blatche should be in for another nice game.

Outside of Blatche, it’s hard to see where the scoring will come from, but the Wizards do have some candidates. Nick Young has scored 10, 16 and 29 points in his last three games. Former Magic Guard/Forward Mike Miller has scored in double figures in nine of his last 11 games.

Center Javale McGee has showed some promise. He had one of the best games of his career on Tuesday night when he went off for 25 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots against the Warriors.

Shaun Livingston has been a feel-good story for the Wizards.The 24-year who has been set back by his devestating injury, is averaging 16.8 points, 6.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds over his last four games.

Magic Center Dwight Howard has been a monster against the Wizards this season. He’s averaging 23.7 points, 15.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 blocks per game against Washington this season. Expect Howard to put up similar numbers.

With all of the Wizards’ problems, moves,  injuries and the fact that they’re on the second night of a back-to-back, this is a game that Magic should not have a lot of trouble winning.

(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).