The Orlando Magic will try to break their seven-game losing streak when they host the New York Knicks tonight.
WHERE: Amway Center.
TV: Fox Sports Florida. RADIO: 96.5 FM (WDBO), 580 AM (WDBO). SPANISH BROADCAST — ElOrlandoMagic.com.
Knicks: 22-10 (Road: 9-7)
Magic: 12-20 (Home: 7-11)
Projected Knicks starters
PG Jason Kidd (6-4/220)
SG Ronnie Brewer (6-7/235)
SF Carmelo Anthony (6-8/235)
PF Marcus Camby (6-11/245)
C Tyson Chandler (7-1/240)
Projected Magic starters
PG Jameer Nelson (6-0/190)
SG Arron Afflalo (6-5/215)
SF DeQuan Jones (6-8/221)
PF Gustavo Ayón (6-10/250) or Andrew Nicholson (6-9/250)
C Nik Vucevic (7-0/240)
• For New York, center/power forward Rasheed Wallace (sore left foot), guard Raymond Felton (broken finger) and guard Iman Shumpert (left knee) won’t play.
• For Orlando, power forward Glen Davis (left shoulder), guard E’Twaun Moore (left elbow) and power forward Al Harrington (knee) won’t play.
Reasons to watch
• The Magic will try to avoid their first eight-game losing streak since they lost eight straight Feb. 6-22, 2006.
• Nelson needs nine more assists to tie Scott Skiles for the Magic's career assists record. Nelson has 2,767 assists. Skiles compiled 2,776 assists with the Magic.
• Can the Magic match or exceed the Knicks’ physicality?
• Former Cypress Creek High star Amar’e Stoudemire will play in his third game of the season.
Knicks on offense
• Knicks offensive rating: 109.3 (2nd in NBA)
• Magic defensive rating: 101.8 (13th)
Magic on offense
• Magic offensive rating: 99.2 (25th in NBA)
• Knicks defensive rating: 101.8 (13th)
The last time
On Nov. 13, with Nelson out with an injury, the Knicks beat the Magic 99-89 in Orlando. But the gmae was close until the Knicks outscored the Magic 22-13 in the fourth quarter. ’Melo scored 25 points on 11-of-22 shooting, but Magic rookie Maurice Harkless guarded Anthony effectively in stretches.
Knicks scouting report
New York begins today in second place in the Eastern Conference standings. . . . Stoudemire’s return after missing the team’s first 30 games raises one essential question: Are the Knicks better or worse now that he’s back? The concerns with him revolve around his defense and whether he and ’Melo mesh effectively on offense. . . . Stoudemire has averaged 8.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in 19.0 minutes per game since his return from injury. . . . Even at 39 years old, Kidd remains a solid player. In recent years, his 3-point shooting has improved dramatically. He’s made 42.4 percent of his 3s so far this season. . . . Swingman J.R. Smith is a leading contender for Sixth Man of the Year honors. He’s averaging 16.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. In his last five games, he’s averaging 25.6 points per game on 44.7 percent shooting and 6.8 rebounds per game. . . . Chandler is the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, but the Knicks still are a middling team defensively.
Anthony versus everyone on the Magic: Orlando can turn to Jones, Harkless, Afflalo, Hedo Turkoglu, Josh McRoberts and maybe even Ayón to defend Anthony, who is averaging 28.9 points per game.
Did you know?
Kidd and Magic coach Jacque Vaughn were teammates in 2004-05 and 2005-06 with the New Jersey Nets.
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.