Golden State Warriors @ Orlando Magic


The struggles of the Orlando Magic seem long ago. Although they are just about two weeks removed from a skid that saw them lost seven games in eight tries, the Orlando Magic have won five straight games and are just 4.5 games out of first place in the Eastern Conference.

It hasn’t gone as well for the Warriors. After a nice start, they went through a stretch that saw them lose 16 of 19 games and are now just 13-20 after a loss to the Miami Heat Saturday night. The Magic have been off since Thursday when they defeated the New York Knicks to improve to 21-12.

The Warriors rank fourth in pace (95.1), 14th in offensive rating (106.6) and 28th in defensive rating (111.2).

The Magic now rank 18th in pace (91.8), 15th in offensive rating (106.4) and fourth in defensive rating (101.5).

The game will be shown locally on Sun Sports. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.

Tip off from the Amway Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST.

The Line: Orlando – 10.5


Golden State Warriors

Louis Amundson
Vladimir Radmanovic
Dorell Wright
Monta Ellis
Stephen Curry

Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
Brandon Bass*
Hedo Turkoglu
Jason Richardson
Jameer Nelson

*David Lee is doubtful with back, ankle, knee and elbow issues. Andris Biedrins (sprained left ankle), Dan Gadzuric (strained left groin) and Brandan Wright (strained lower back/disc inflammation) are out indefinitely for the Warriors. For the Magic, Malik Allen is questionable with a sprained left ankle, Quentin Richardson is questionable with flu-like symptoms, and Brandon Bass is questionable  with a sore left knee. Jason Williams (arthritis in feet) and Daniel Orton (left knee surgery) are out indefinitely.

If Bass can’t go, Hedo Turkoglu will shift to the 4, Jason Richardson to the 3 and J.J. Redick will be inserted into the starting lineup at the 2.

The officials will be Steve Javie, Kane Fitzgerald and Leroy Richardson.

Opponent To Watch: Monta Ellis, G – The Warriors are fueled by their back court of Ellis and Stephen Curry. The two combine to score 44.2 points per game, which is 43.5 % of the Warriors’ points. However, the two have had their struggles against the Magic. Curry averaged just 11.0 points per game on 37.5% shooting in two meetings with the Magic last season while Ellis, who has averaged 18.8 points per game over the course of his career, has only been able to muster 15.9 points per game against the Magic.

However, in one game against Orlando last season, Ellis put up 33 points on 12-of-23 shooting while dishing out 7 assists. Ellis is averaging 25.4 points and 5.5 assists per game this season and should provide a very difficult matchup for J.J. Redick, Jason Richardson and whoever else is forced to guard him.

What To Watch For: The Orlando Magic finally had some time to practice with their three-day layoff so their playbook should be a little more complex. The Warriors are one of the league’s smaller all-around teams. They start a back court consisting of 6’3 Monta Ellis and 6’3 Stephen Curry, meaning we could see more of Jameer Nelson and Gilbert Arenas, much like we did in Cleveland last week. The Warriors are also smaller up front so we could see more of Hedo Turkoglu at the 4 and the Magic could feel more comfortable starting him if Brandon Bass can’t go.

Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy thought the Magic should have continued to push the pace against the Knicks so it will be interesting to see if he does that again against the Warriors, who play at the fourth fastest pace in the league.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days ( and ESPN 1080’s Magic Insider ( Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).