Game night preview
ORLANDO MAGIC vs PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
Saturday, Dec. 19. 7:00 p.m.
The Magic (19-7, 9-2 home) close out their four-game week when they battle the Portland Trail Blazers (16-11, 6-7 road) on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET at Amway Arena. The matchup initially looked to feature two of the league’s best young centers in All-Star Dwight Howard and Portland’s Greg Oden. However, after Oden went down with a season-ending knee injury, the matchup now has a completely different feel. Portland is 3-3 since losing their young big man, including a double-overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Magic will likely look to capitalize on the Trail Blazers’ misfortune and work the ball inside to Howard. With a thinned frontline, it will make it difficult for Portland to consistently foul the Magic’s All-Star center, a tactic that many of Orlando’s opponents have recently employed to force him to shoot free throws rather than attack the rack from the field. Whichever approach Portland decides to take is of no concern to Howard. “I just look at the big picture,” Howard said. “Sometimes it’s tough, but I just have to keep my composure and understand what other teams are trying to do.”
Here is the complete preview from Yahoo! Sports.
The Magic are 8 1/2 point favorites.