Seems hard to believe now, but the Raptors actually beat the Magic 110-106 the last time these teams played in Orlando on Nov. 12. Andrea Bargnani had 27 points, DeMar DeRozan had 26 points and the Raptors outrebounded the Magic 39-34. The chances of all three feats beating repeated tonight are slim to none, and slim is still in Toronto with a sprained ankle.
The Magic may, in fact, be vulnerable for an upset tonight since they’ve only won two of their last five games and one of those wins was a one-point overtime win over the Sixers. Then again, the Raptors are on a five-game losing streak and pretty much suck right now. It’s a toss-up! (Not really.)
Toronto: Leandro Barbosa and Sonny Weems are out, Linas Kleiza is questionable.
Orlando: Their three injured players (Jason Williams, Malik Allen and Daniel Orton) have logged a combined 252 minutes this season, so nobody of consequence is out.
1. Has Turkoglu’s resurgence in Orlando been somewhat overblown? He’s averaging under 12 points per game since his return to the Magic and Stan Van Gundy wants him to be more aggressive on offence.
2. Do you think the acquisitions of Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas will make the Magic a legitimate post-season threat beyond the second round?
3. Was the Raptors’ previous win over the Magic their best win so far this season?
4. Is Ryan Anderson going to start getting some Sixth Man of the Year buzz if he keeps up his recent play? In his last seven games off the bench, he’s averaging 15 points, seven rebounds and a block while shooting around 50 percent from the field and beyond the arc.
5. Are you mad at Peja Stojakovic for faking his knee injury so he wouldn’t have to play while he was a Raptor?
Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Julian Wright, Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani
Orlando: Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Brandon Bass, Dwight Howard
In tribute to the fifth anniversary of The Basketball Jones, tonight’s pregame song is the one they used to use to open their podcast before they sold out and joined me at TheScore: “Napoleon Says” by Phoenix. I’ll be at their live show tonight at the El Mocambo along with Holly MacKenzie and a bunch of other Score people. If you’re going, come say hi and we’ll commiserate about the sad state of this team and Peja the Jerk.