Orlando at Charlotte 11-10-09

November 10, 2009


Their record may indicate otherwise, but Stan Van Gundy certainly isn’t convinced the Orlando Magic are a very good team right now. After their latest performance, it’d be hard to disagree. The Magic look to bounce back from one of their most lopsided defeats in years Tuesday night when they visit the Charlotte Bobcats. Orlando’s five wins have come by an average of 12.4 points, and the common cog to those victories has been outstanding shooting. The Magic (5-2) have made 49.8 percent of their shots in those five games, 44.4 percent from 3-point range.

It’s been a far different story for Van Gundy’s team in its two losses. The Magic have shot 36.7 percent from the field and hit 25.5 percent from beyond the arc, droughts that rarely happened as they rode their hot shooting to the NBA finals last season. Orlando hit 3 of 16 from 3-point range Sunday in a 102-74 loss at Oklahoma City, the second-most lopsided defeat in Van Gundy’s three seasons at the helm.

The Bobcats, on the other hand, have split their first six games due almost entirely to their defense. Charlotte averages a league-worst 85.3 points but gives up 87.7 and has allowed 100 once – in a double-overtime win. The Bobcats are also one of the league’s top rebounding clubs (46.5 per game)  Gerald Wallace averages 13.8 – but were edged on the boards for the first time Saturday in Chicago. They also blew a nine-point second-half lead and remained winless on the road with a 93-90 loss.

The Bobcats have averaged 23.5 turnovers in their past two games. Charlotte is 3-0 at home, but it couldn’t get past the Magic there or on the road last season. Howard was limited to 27 combined points in three of Orlando’s four wins, but he had a career-high 45 points, 19 rebounds and eight blocks in a 107-102 overtime victory at home Feb. 17.  Even without Carter playing, Orlando should win this game and cover.

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