Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Game night preview


ORLANDO MAGIC at WASHINGTON WIZARDS
Friday, Jan. 8. 7:00 p.m.
Verizon Center
Washington, DC

The Magic (24-11, 11-7 road) continue their arduous stretch of four games in five days on Friday when they visit the Washington Wizards (10-22, 5-9 home) at 7p.m. ET for the first time this season. Orlando swept its season series with Washington last season, 4-0. The Wizards have had to deal with their share of adversity already this season, ranging from off-the-court distractions to injuries, and as a result have already used 12 different starting lineups. "It's tough, but you just have to stay ready," Wizards guard Randy Foye said to the media on Monday. "You just have to keep working hard and be ready when your number is called." Caron Butler, who struggled at the start of the season to adjust to Wizards Head Coach Flip Saunders' offensive system, believes they're about to turn the corner. "I've finally gotten a rhythm in this offense," Butler recently told the Washington Post. "Things are starting to turn a corner. Hopefully, it continues to do that because we're right there.

Team Record Standings PF PA Road/Home Streak L10
Orlando 24-11 1st Southeast / 3rd East 101.3 96.2 Road 11-7 Lost 3 5-5
Washington 11-22 5th Southeast / 11th East 99.1 103.1 Home 5-9 Lost 1 4-6

Here is the complete preview from Yahoo! Sports.

The Magic are 7 point favorites.

4 Comments:

  • At 4:02 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    The Wizards are reeling with the events of this past week with Gilbert Arenas' suspension.

    On paper, this should be an easy Magic victory. Of course, the Magic games against Indiana and Toronto earlier this week looked like they would be easy victories, and look what happened.

    If Vince Carter has another poor game tonight, Van Gundy should sit him a week or so and let his ankle or whatever else might be bothering him heal. VC is such a better player than he has shown lately.

    If the Magic can play with the passion and urgency for longer than the final 6 minutes of the fourth quarter, they should get back on the right track.

     
  • At 10:27 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Some of the unverified reports suggest that there is a rift between the coach and the players. The reports point out in part that while the coach has his ever-evident presence at the practice and team meetings, his connection with players on personal level is not there. Coach Van Gundy has always been a players' coach, and if there is any truth - even partially - to that report, it is disturbing.

    I once was auditing a slumping business and noticed that despite plenty of cheerful gatherings the employees' morale remained low. I suggested smaller meetings with specific agendas, and soon enough it started paying off.

    In Magic's case, the players are confused and are not sure what is it that they are doing wrong. They are looking for leadership probably at two levels: 1) at coach's level in a clear and concise manner; and 2) at players' level, which is a lot more personal than that of at coach's level. But Coach Van Gundy needs to speak with players on one-on-one basis, and then set the stage for that one leader amongst the players to make the connection with his fellow teammates. This team has plenty of potentials, but referring back to my earlier posts, certain elements however small need to be addressed and fixed. All teams go through these slumping periods during a long season but the key is to tackle them properly and get back on track. There are no ills in the world which winning a few games could not cure.

     
  • At 1:58 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Agreed! Ive been talking about that lack of leadership throughout the team for a few weeks now. What i hope to see tonight is some team basketball for a change. VC most importantly must start to play within the offense and stop going one-on-one from out high. In the fourth period last game the team started to show signs,lets hope they can carry some of that into tonight. Jameer did a good job of penetrating and kicking the ball to the corners with 8 assists,and rashard's jumper has looked much better from three. Dwight and matt do a good job of doing the tough stuff,if the team plays hard the game will come easy to them.

     
  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Well said, Matt and Big Figure.

    It is indeed disturbing if there is a rift developing between the players and Coach Van Gundy; let's hope they can iron out this supposed rift.

     

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