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News » Magic-Bobcats Preview 2009-11-09

Magic-Bobcats Preview 2009-11-09

Magic-Bobcats Preview 2009-11-09Their record may indicate otherwise, but Stan Van Gundy certainly isn't convinced the Orlando Magic are a very good team right now.

After their latest performance, it'd be hard to disagree.

The Magic look to bounce back from one of their most lopsided defeats in years Tuesday night when they visit the Charlotte Bobcats.

Orlando's five wins have come by an average of 12.4 points, and the common cog to those victories has been outstanding shooting. The Magic (5-2) have made 49.8 percent of their shots in those five games, 44.4 percent from 3-point range.

It's been a far different story for Van Gundy's team in its two losses. The Magic have shot 36.7 percent from the field and hit 25.5 percent from beyond the arc, droughts that rarely happened as they rode their hot shooting to the NBA finals last season.

Orlando hit 3 of 16 from 3-point range Sunday in a 102-74 loss at Oklahoma City, the second-most lopsided defeat in Van Gundy's three seasons at the helm.

"We're not a good basketball team right now. I've been saying that, but nobody's listening," Van Gundy said. "We're totally predicated on shooting. We do not have any kind of defensive mindset, we don't have much toughness and we're not very smart. So, right now we're not a very good team."

The Magic were missing Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson, both down with ankle injuries, and Rashard Lewis, who still has three games of his 10-game league-imposed suspension left to serve.

It was initially thought Carter would play against the Thunder, but team officials don't want to rush him back after he tweaked his ankle in a game versus Detroit last week. Van Gundy also said he'd be "shocked" if Anderson plays in the next week.

While the eventual returns of Lewis, Carter and Anderson figure to help the Magic from the outside, rebounding and defense are still concerns to Van Gundy. Dwight Howard has averaged 6.0 rebounds in the two losses, and Orlando is giving up 99.6 points per game - 5.2 more than last season.

"We are one of the worst defensive teams in the league and it showed (against the Thunder)," Van Gundy said. "We are a white-collar team right now and those teams won't win on the road."

The Bobcats, on the other hand, have split their first six games due almost entirely to their defense. Charlotte averages a league-worst 85.3 points but gives up 87.7 and has allowed 100 once - in a double-overtime win.

The Bobcats are also one of the league's top rebounding clubs (46.5 per game) - Gerald Wallace averages 13.8 - but were edged on the boards for the first time Saturday in Chicago. They also blew a nine-point second-half lead and remained winless on the road with a 93-90 loss.

"We weren't playing the right way," said forward Boris Diaw, who scored a season-high 20 but committed six turnovers. "We had no movement. We were sloppy."

The Bobcats have averaged 23.5 turnovers in their past two games.

Charlotte is 3-0 at home, but it couldn't get past the Magic there or on the road last season. Howard was limited to 27 combined points in three of Orlando's four wins, but he had a career-high 45 points, 19 rebounds and eight blocks in a 107-102 overtime victory at home Feb. 17.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 9, 2009


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