Rockets are gaining momentum at the right time. Coming off a thrilling 106-103 win over the defending champs, the Miami Heat, the red hot Rockets travel to Orlando to take on the Magic. The 19-43 Magic are coming off a Sunday home win against the Philadelphia 76ers. This will be Dwight Howard‘s first game in Orlando as a member of the Rockets. It will be interesting to see if the booing continues for D12, in the city where he spent his first eight years of his career.
The young Magic have been inconsistent this year and are having a hard time gelling as a team. Orlando is likely to be without both members of their starting backcourt tonight. Expect a tough game in the paint tonight as both teams feature physical frontcourt players. Tip-off is set for 6:00 PM and can be seen on CSN Houston.
Eight year vet Ronnie Price is likely to start for the Magic for a second straight game, while Jameer Nelson deals with a calf injury. Price logs about ten minutes per game while shooting 28% from the field. He will have to handle the Rockets junkyard dog Patrick Beverley., who is coming off a 19 point performance last night.
Rookie Victor Oladipo has a bright future in the NBA. He is shooting a nice 41% from the field and averaging 4.3 rebounds. But the young swing man from Indiana will have his hands full with the bearded one. The western conference player of the month for February is coming off back to back games of 10+ assists. Harden has also stepped it up on defense as of late, averaging 2.1 steals in his last 7 games.
Harkless is another one of the up and coming players for the Magic. The problem for Harkless is he cant seem to keep his game consistent. One game scores 22 points while shooting 69%, the next he scores 2 shooting 33%.
After struggling in February Jones has found his rhythm the past 2 games. Coming off back to back double-doubles Jones faces another tough defensive match up against Tobias Harris. The 21 year old big man is averaging 14.9 ppg and 7.3 rpg. Harris has been one of the few bright spots in a bad season for Orlando.
Vucevic is the man who replace Howard after his departure from Orlando last season. I would argue that he has been Orlando’s best player this season, averaging 14.1 ppg, 10.9 rpg, and 1.1 spg. Not too bad for a 23 year old. Howard has been red hot the last five games, averaging 21.4 ppg and 11 rpg. I expect D12 to silence Magic fans with his play tonight as he did in his return to LA.
Rockets – Greg Smith (Out)
Prediction - Rockets should not have any trouble in this game. The only concern is fatigue from a tough battle against the Heat last night. But with the injuries Orlando is dealing with they will continue to struggle with consistent play. Final score: Houston 111-97.
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