Charlotte Bobcats @ Orlando Magic


The Orlando Magic will look to win the fifth straight game when they host the Charlotte Bobcats Tuesday night. This will be Orlando’s first home game since leaving on a west coast trip after a loss to the Chicago Bulls January 6. The Magic won all three games and added a 102-93 victory over the Knicks in New York Monday to make it a perfect 4-0.

The Bobcats fell to 3-11 after a 102-94 home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday afternoon.

These two teams met back on December 30 in Charlotte. Behind 23 points from Ryan Anderson and 20 points and 18 rebounds from Dwight Howard, the Magic dominated the Bobcats 100-79. Corey Maggette, who is expected to miss Tuesday night’s game, led Charlotte with 20 points while D.J. Augustin scored 14.

The Orlando Magic are now first in offensive efficiency (106.8) but are just 22nd in defense (101.7). The Magic also play at one of the slowest paces in the league (91.9 (25th)). The Bobcats are 27th in offense (94.9) and 28th in defense (106.2). Charlotte plays at the 10th highest pace in the league (95.3).

Tip-off from the Amway Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST. The game will be shown locally by Fox Sports Florida.

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.

The officials for this tonight’s games are Gary Zielinski, Brian Forte and Tre Maddox.

The Line: Orlando – 12.0 (192u)


Charlotte Bobcats

Byron Mullens
Tyrus Thomas
Gerald Henderson
D.J. Augustin
Kemba Walker

Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
Ryan Anderson
Hedo Turkoglu
J.J. Redick*
Jameer Nelson

*Magic coach Stan Van Gundy “guessed” that starting shooting guard Jason Richardson would miss all three games during the Magic’s back-to-back-to-back.

Three Bobcats players – Corey Maggette (hamstring), Eduardo Najera (knee) and Reggie Williams (knee) will not play Tuesday.

Fatigue could be a big factor for the Bobcats. Both teams will be playing for the second consecutive day but the Bobcats are playing their fifth game in six days having played their back-to-back-to-back on January 12, 13 and 14.

Under Larry Brown, the Bobcats had one of the best defenses in the NBA, but that feels like a long time ago. The Bobcats have been the third-worst defensive team in the league this season. Orlando, who has been the league’s best offensive team so far, should be able to have their way with Charlotte. After a disappointing game Monday, I’d expect Dwight Howard to try to exploit Charlotte’s big men (Byron Mullens, DeSagana Diop (who hasn’t played since January 12),  D.J. White, Boris Diaw and rookie Bismack Biyombo). None of them are a match for Howard, but collectively, they have a lot of fouls to use on the big man.

Tyrus Thomas missed the first meeting between these two teams and should help the Bobcats offer a little more resistance this time.

Offensively, the Bobcats aren’t much better. Their leading scorer, D.J. Augustin (14.8 points per game) is shooting just 39.8% from the field. Arguably their most gifted scorer, Corey Maggette, who might be taking more bad shots than ever (and that’s saying something), is shooting just 30.0% from the field and will miss the game because of a hamstring injury. His injury has forced rookie Kemba Walker, who led Connecticut to a National Championship last season, into the starting lineup. In two starts, Walker is averaging 18.5 points per game but is only 14-of-36 from the field.

To make it simple, there is no excuse if the Magic lose this one.

Bobcats Resources:

Bobcats Baseline
Bobcats Planet
Charlotte Observer
Queen City Hoops
Roberto Gato
Rufus On Fire

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider ( and is the co-host of the Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)