Orlando Magic @ Milwaukee Bucks


After suffering a blowout loss at the hands of the Miami Heat Sunday afternoon, the Magic will try to get back on track when they travel to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks Monday night. The Bucks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 92-85 win over the New Jersey Nets Sunday night. Orlando is 20-12 while Milwaukee enters with a record of 13-18.

This will be the third meeting between the two in 10 days. The Magic rallied to defeat in the Bucks in the first two games this season. Orlando fell behind by 10 on February but rode Jason Richardson’s hot hand (31 points) to a 99-94 victory. On Friday, the Magic scored the game’s final 17 points, defeating Milwaukee 94-85 behind 26 points and 20 rebounds from Dwight Howard.

The Magic rank 14th in offensive rating (103.1), 12th in defensive rating (100.9) and play at the league’s fifth-slowest pace (89.4). The Bucks are 18th in offensive rating (102.5), 19th in defensive rating (104.3) and play at the 11th-fastest pace (92.2).

Tip-off from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is scheduled for 8:00 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 Ron Garretson, Kevin Cutler and Michael Smith.

The Line: Orlando – 3 .0 (186.5u)


Milwaukee Bucks

John Leuer*
Ersan Ilyasova
Carlos Delfino
Shaun Livingston
Brandon Jennings

Orlando Magic

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

*Drew Gooden is out with an ankle injury.


Richardson missed Sunday’s game with chest pains. If he can’t go, J.J. Redick will start.

Richardson is indeed out.

Isn’t this getting a little old? This is their third meeting in 10 days and they’ll meet again in Orlando on March 3!

Aside from Jason Richardson’s outburst, both teams have defended each other pretty well this season, which is somewhat surprising. These two teams usually pride themselves on defense, but both units have been disappointing this season (although the Magic have played better as of late).

Ersan Ilyasova is doing his best Ryan Anderson impression, averaging 10.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game and shooting 42.9% from beyond the arc. Ilyasova had the best game of his career in Sunday’s win over the Nets, putting up 29 points and grabbing 25 rebounds. Ilyasova has averaged 15.5 points and 13.0 rebounds per game in two meetings with the Magic. Anderson has averaged 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds against the Bucks.

Again, it will be up to Jameer Nelson to slow Milwaukee’s leading scorer, Brandon Jennings (18.2 ppg). Nelson and Orlando’s guards have done a great job so far – Jennings has 21 total points in two games against Orlando and is shooting just 20.6% from the field.

Drew Gooden and the Bucks did a great job on Howard in the first meeting (11 points on 5-of-15 shooting), but Howard torched the Gooden-less Bucks Friday, scoring 26 points and grabbing 20 rebounds.

It will be interesting to see how the Bucks use reserve Stephen Jackson. Last week, he expressed his desire to play in Orlando.

The Bucks have to be worried about the psyche late in games against the Magic. In both meetings, the Bucks blew fourth quarter leads.

Bucks Resources:

Behind The Buck Pass
Brew Hoop
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

(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)