Baby-less: Orlando Magic @ Boston Celtics preview

Orlando Magic logo
Orlando Magic logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our first official game without Rondo, how will it play out? (The last game didn’t count because the guys did not know he was out until post-game.)

Fact: The Orlando Magic have lost 8 of their last 10 games, with a 7 game loss streak on the way and counting.


Game time: 2 Feb 2013, 1130hrs AEDT

Watch on: NBA League Pass

Roster changes:

1. Fab Melo has rejoined the team from D-League, likely not to play as he seems to be receiving treatment for his quads.

2. Big Baby Glen Davis is out with a broken left foot, pending surgery and recovery for the next 8 to 12 weeks.

3. Arron Afflalo is questionable for tomorrow’s game (strained left calf).

Defense

Nicola Vucevic. Who would have expected him to turn into a rebounding monster in the post-Howard era? Great find by the Magic, and expect him to be a force on the offensive boards with an average of 3.4 ORB per game.

Reddick and Nelson will be the starting backcourt, and it’s an interesting change for Reddick to be getting the start in contrast to his 6th man role over the years. With both 1 and 2 guards being excellent shooters (6.1 shots attempted per game at the arc, 40% and 35% respectively), expect the Pitbulls (Bradley and Lee) to have their hands full on closing the shots out.

With Baby out and Afflalo questionable, expect a noticeable dent to appear in their scoring. Tomorrow will be the first game Davis is out though, so a certain amount of step up on team effort will definitely happen. Stay merciless, do not allow them to gather steam and roll all over us.

Offense

I loved the new-found focus on collective passing the team exhibited last game. Move the ball to the open guy, make the open shot happen. Bass noticeably was a big beneficiary on the simplified offense, and seems to have found his shooting touch once more. If Bass continues to find his shooting mojo and revert to last season’s form, our scoring will be in decent shape.

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Bradley is still on the road to recovery when it comes to shooting, but I’d like him to continue taking those baseline 3s and leave the one-dribble pullup shots to Lee.

Continue to look for KG in the post, make him the passer and keep cutting. KG has extraordinary vision, and will definitely hit the open cutter if the opportunity presents itself. That being said, his limited minutes means a secondary option has to be present when he is not on. I’ll be interested to see how the in-out passing is made with the bench guys.

Also, Pierce. The Captain has been noticeably looking to pass in the last game with his point forward role, and Doc has reminded him that he needs to score too. The Truth will definitely look to find a balanced game tomorrow between finding the open man and the hoop.

Anyone expecting JET to have a big shooting night? Matched up against Moore or Smith (both of whom are relatively raw), Terry’s vet experience might hold an advantage here.


Let us get the win folks. We meet the Clippers again after this, so close the Magic out in style and get some Gino time going. The confidence will be needed against the Clips on the road.

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