Tonight the Orlando Magic (2-5) are hosting the New Orleans Pelicans (6-1), tip off set for 7pm.
Earlier in the preseason Orlando fell to the Pelicans 99-95 behind Anthony Davis’ 29 points and 9 rebounds, giving the Magic front line all they could handle.
Orlando was able to hold the Pelicans to just 41 first half points in the first half, but gave up 58 points in the third and fourth quarters. If the Magic want to win tonight they will need to play better second half defense and limit the easy shots for New Orleans.
Anthony Davis vs Nikola Vucevic
Both teams have bigs that are able to to score the basketball and rebound extremely well. In the first match-up Davis won the battle by pulling Vucevic away from the basket showing his soft touch jumper and athletic ability to get to the rim and finish. Look for the Magic to send double teams when they can forcing Davis to give the ball up.
Key players: It’s very easy to look at the star players when breaking down key match-ups but for tonights game these two guys have the ability to score and open up opportunities for the guys around them.
New Orleans: Ryan Anderson PF
With Anderson’s long range shooting he helps open up the lane for Jrue Holiday to attack off the Anthony Davis pick and roll. Watch for Pelicans coach Monty Williams to run the pick and roll with Holiday and Davis to set up Anderson in the corner.
Orlando Magic: Andrew Nicholson PF
Nicholson’s mid-range jumper has improved a lot since last season. He has been shooting above 50% all pre-season creating space for Victor Oladpio to get to the rim and create. The Magic are shooting below 30% from three so if they want to gain more confidence on offense they will need Nicholson to score from 15-17 feet out. If not the Pelicans will be able to collapse on defense and smother the Magic.
Orlando Magic: Jacque Vaughn (20-62) in his second season for the Magic. Coach Vaughn admitted in practice that he will not pull out all the tricks for tonights game considering they play again at the start of the regular season. Watch out for the second-year coach to have different line-ups and experiment with rotations that may benefit when it counts.
New Orleans Pelicans: Monty Williams (94-136) heading into his fourth season as Pelicans head coach. His hard nose coaching style plays well with this team and may help push them into the playoffs. Williams is the perfect coach for young Anthony Davis, he demands nothing but great things from his center. Tonight he will put Davis in the right spots offensively to score with ease. As far as the defensive end Williams will allow Davis to anchor his guys and communicate with the wing players.
New Orleans 101