Trail Blazers @ Magic Game Thread
The last four-game road trip of the season starts tonight for Portland in Orlando and the big news is that due to a suspension due to exceeding the technical foul limit, the Magic will be without the Eastern Conference Player of the Month, Dwight Howard. This loss is compounded even more for Orlando who doesn't have a true backup center after trading Marcin Gortat to the Suns in December. With that said, look for Ryan Anderson, a 6-10 forward, to get a lot of time and try to spread the floor and force our big men out of the paint due to his amazing outside shooting ability. But, will they have an answer for LA? 6-8 Brandon Bass has been getting a lot of run lately, but if they go with Bass on Aldridge, look for LA to have a field day.
Expect Orlando to throw the kitchen sink when LaMarcus gets the ball down low. The Magic will most likely force us to prove we can hit the outside shot. If we don't, it'll be a long night and LA will never be able to get going. A number to watch out for will be assists. If Portland can rack up over 20 assists, they should be in good shape. A high assist total will mean there is crisp ball movement and we are beating Orlando to the punch. Whether its a kick-out to a shooter for 3 or LA finding a slashing cutter down the middle, that could be the difference in a win or a loss.continue