Los Angeles Clippers @ Orlando Magic


The Orlando Magic will try to push their winning streak to four games when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers Monday night. Orlando’s record is now 15-9. The Clippers have won five of their last six games and enter with a record of 14-7.

The Magic rank 16th in offensive rating (102.4), 12th in defensive rating (101.1) and play at the league’s six-slowest pace (89.7). The Clippers are fourth in offensive rating (107.9), 24th in defensive rating (105.7) and play at the league’s 18th-fastest pace (91.3).

Tip-off from Amway Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST and 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 FM 96.5  and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.

The officials for tonight’s game are Gary Zielinski, Brian Forte and John Goble.

The Line:  Los Angeles -1.0 (191u)


Los Angeles Clippers

DeAndre Jordan
Blake Griffin
Caron Butler
Chauncey Billups
Chris Paul

Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
Ryan Anderson
Hedo Turkoglu
Jason Richardson
Jameer Nelson*

*Jameer Nelson has be cleared to play.

The Clippers are led by All-Star starters Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

Paul, the league’s best point guard, is going to provide a huge challenge for Orlando’s points, who have struggled most of the year. This season, Paul is averaging 17.9 points per game on an effective field goal percentage of 56.2% and is dishing out 8.9 assists per game.

Although Ryan Anderson is having an excellent season, he’s had his struggles on the defensive end. Anderson and Glen Davis, who will be returning from his two-game suspension, are going to have their hands full with Blake Griffin. Griffin is averaging 21.4 points per game with an effective field goal percentage of 54.3%. Griffin, last season’s Rookie of the Year, is also grabbing 10.9 rebounds per game. It’s going to be up to the duo of Anderson and Davis to slow Griffin down because you have to assume the Magic don’t want Dwight Howard covering Griffin and getting into foul trouble.

In the offseason, the Clippers rewarded youngster DeAndre Jordan by matching the offer sheet he signed with the Golden State Warriors worth $43 million over four years. Jordan is certainly not a big threat offensively (8.5 points per game), but he’s a good rebounder (9.0 per game) and is tied for the league-lead in blocks per game (3.0). He is one of the few players with Dwight Howard’s size that is also athletic. However, Howard should still be able to take advantage of this matchup. Howard needs to get Jordan into foul trouble because there isn’t much depth behind him.

The Clippers also made some other big moves, bringing in Mo Williams at the trade deadline last year and Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler prior to the start of the season. All three players are averaging 14.8 points per game.

The Clippers have a lot of options on offense and can really score, but there are holes in their suspect defense and the Magic have to take advantage. Jason Richardson has played very well since returning to the lineup and the Magic will need him to continue to be aggressive. Ditto for Hedo Turkoglu.

The Clippers just signed former Nugget and Net Kenyon Martin. He is expected to join the Clippers in Orlando today, but is not expected to play.

Clippers Resources:

Clipper Blog
Clips Nation
ESPN Los Angeles
Fully Clips
Inside the Clippers
Los Angeles Times
Orange County Register

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com 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)