Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday Night NBA Preview: Spurs Vs. Magic and Suns Vs. Trail Blazers

There are only two games tonight in the NBA, and both games will be shown on TNT.

The first game is between the Spurs and the Magic in Orlando at the Amway Arena. Dwight Howard is questionable for the contest due to a sore left knee. Howard has not played in the Magic's last two games.

The Magic are coming off a 4-1 road trip against Western Conference teams. Their only loss on the trip was against the Suns by one point.

Tonight's game starts a four game home swing for the Magic. Things won't get any easier for Orlando in their next game which will be Saturday against the Lakers.

Everyone continues to talk about the Celtics, Pistons, and Cavs as the top contenders in the Eastern Conference, but the Magic are 19-6 and in first place in the Southeast Division.

They proved they could win without Howard in their last two games, but they need him back to contest the likes of Tim Duncan and Andrew Bynum. If Howard can't play tonight, Marcin Gortat will start at center.

Gortat was impressive against the Warriors in the Magic's last game, but that was against the Warriors who have made a lot of average players look like Hall of Famers this season.

The key to stopping the Magic is stopping them from making their three-pointers. They make an average of 9.3 three-pointers a game and shoot 25.1 threes a game which is second-most in the league.

The Spurs are coming off a tough loss to the Hornets in New Orleans last night 90-83. The Hornets outscored the Spurs 27-13 in the final quarter to get the win.

Matt Bonner took 15 shots and only made three for the Spurs. He was just 1-8 on his three-point tries. If Bonner is taking the most shots for the Spurs in a game, they will be in serious trouble.

The key to stopping the Spurs tonight is containing the post presence of Tim Duncan and the quick penetration by Tony Parker. Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson will need to step up their D tonight.

Suns Vs. Trail Blazers

Two teams with almost identical records and who are both in second place in their division will face off tonight in Portland.

The Suns have scored over 100 points in their last five games and should be more explosive now with Jason Richardson on their roster.

The Blazers had lost three games in a row before destroying the Kings at home by 32 points last Tuesday night.

The Suns have a 7-5 road record while the Trail Blazers have a 8-2 record at the Rose Garden.

Portland has lost to the Suns 11 straight times, but that streak has a good chance to be halted tonight since they are at home.

Portland has to play good defense tonight and not give the Suns any good looks at the basket because the Suns are first in the league in field goal percentage.

The key to stopping the Trail Blazers is to contain Brandon Roy. It will probably be up to Richardson to try to contain Roy.

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