On Wednesday night, the Orlando Magic (13-24) will host the Indiana Pacers (23-15) at the Amway Center. The Magic suffered arguably their worst loss of the season to the Washington Wizards on Monday, losing 91-120. For a team that was thought to hang their hat on defense, the Magic definitely dropped the ball by allowing the league’s worst offensive team to put up 120 points.
Everything that was good about the Magic during the first half of December is quickly fading. They have a bottom 10 defense and a bottom 5 offense. The season has not been without its positives. Jameer Nelson is having a very solid season and Nik Vucevic has become a double-double machine. Also, the rookies are getting significant minutes due to a plethora of injuries plaguing the veteran players. J.J. Redick and Arron Afflalo have been good, but not consistently so. People will say that their averages are up this season, but so is their usage. The fact of the matter is that the Magic are struggling to find their identity during a stretch that has resulted in 11 losses in 12 outings. As the host of a fanpage, you’ll generally find me defending the Magic and looking at the positive. Occasionally it is important to take an objective look at the team to see where they are and where they are going. At the moment, they look lost and lost is exactly what they’ve done over the last month.
While the Magic are now only better than three teams in the East, the Pacers are only trailing two others. The Indiana Pacers have found their identity and it is anchored in a strong defense. The best defense in the league, actually. They may be extremely boring and plodding on offense, but they’ll take their 80-75 victories, because their defense is that good. Paul George is becoming a fantastic, do-it-all kind of player and David West is showing what strong, consistent veteran leadership looks like. If Roy Hibbert would just start earning that 4 year/$58,000,000 contract then they would be infinitely better. All of his numbers are down from last year except blocks, in which he still excels. His field goal percentage is down almost 10 full points.
It is time for the Crystal Ball predictions game, the second contest of the week! Remember, the winner is chosen by cumulative POINTS at the end of the week, not by games won. All results will be posted to the Crystal Ball Leaderboards page. This is the first meeting of the season, so both teams per game averages will be posted below to use as a reference. Good luck!
- How many points will the Magic score? A correct response will be worth three points. If you guess the winner correctly, regardless of the score, it is worth an additional point.
- How many points will the Pacers score? A correct response will be worth three points. If you guess the winner correctly, regardless of the score, it is worth an additional point.
- Which player will lead the game in scoring? Correctly guessing the player will give you one point and if you can guess the exact amount he will score, that will be an extra three points. If multiple players tie for the highest amount of points, then all of those players are eligible.
- Which player will lead the game in rebounding? Correctly guessing the player will give you one point and if you can guess the exact amount of boards he will snag, that will be an extra three points. If multiple players tie for the highest amount of rebounds, then all of those players are eligible.
- Who will post the highest +/- of the night? Guessing the correct player will give you 2 points and guessing his +/- correctly will be worth 4 bonus points.
|Dominic McGuire (TOT)||26||10||14.9||0.429||0.000||0.300||0.70||2.30||3.00||0.8||0.50||0.42||0.46||0.00||2.0|