Gameday Preview at Orlando Magic

Pump Up Music: Jimi Hendrix -- "Purple Haze"

The Big Picture: The Bobcats are reeling. Again, each individual game does not stand for a larger revealed truth, but nine games in, it's fair to pick out some patterns. Rashard Lewis comes back for the Magic in tonight's game, and just in time, because their front court is dinged up. Only Brandon Bass is doubtful, but a healthy Lewis, ready to get the season started already, presents one of the toughest matchup problems in the league.

Key to Victory: Again, Boris Diaw is the central figure. He'll be charged with guarding three point shooters like Lewis and Ryan Anderson, and big men with midrange shooting ability, like Marcin Gortat and (possibly) Bass, and might even be called upon to guard Dwight Howard for a few minutes, since Larry Brown has absolutely zero confidence in DeSagana Diop and his Diaw's offensive skill set might give Howard problems on the other end.

Secondarily, if the Cats can keep Tyson Chandler and Nazr Mohammed in the game, they've got to resist the temptation to double Howard, because everyone else on the floor for Orlando is a jump shooter and they'll kill 'em by passing out of the post and bombing threes.

Detail That Might Interest .08% of You: The city of Orlando appears to be named after a sugar plantation owner whose name was carved in a tree. Early settlers mistakenly assumed the carving was a grave marker for a war hero. (Wikipedia caveats apply.)

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