Pregame: What to Watch For, Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets
The Orlando Magic are coming off a great win against the San Antonio Spurs. They head into Charlotte to face the up and down Hornets.
Going into Charlotte will be yet another test for this years Orlando Magic. After blowing out the Spurs the Magic are feeling very good about themselves. National recognition is starting to build as Orlando is getting off to a surprisingly good start. The test for Orlando tonight is to keep their foot on the gas. The Charlotte Hornets are 2-3 on the season so far. Overlooking the Hornets could be a big mistake in the development of this teams killer instinct. This is the first game of a back to back where Orlando will face All-Stars Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins the following night. Having a let down against what looks to be a less than stellar Hornets team could have a domino effect and wipe out all the great things accomplished so far. Here are a few things to watch for tonight.
Shooting From Deep
The Charlotte Hornets are coming off a loss to the Houston Rockets where they gave up 22,3 pointers. The Magic are shooting nearly 46% from behind the arch. Nikola Vucevic himself is shooting 45.5% from 3 point range and will pull Dwight Howard from the paint. Taking Howard away from the rim will allow the offense to flow like it has in the first 5 games of the season. The Hornets do not shoot the deep ball particularly well at only 33%, and will have a tough time scoring with Orlando. Charlotte averages 99.2 points per game while Orlando averages 118. Look for the Magic to put up a lot of shots from deep tonight.
The Magic had a tough time on the glass in both of their games versus the Brooklyn Nets. Controlling rebounds will be a big focus with Dwight Howard on the court. Howard currently averages 17.6 rebounds per game. The Hornets as a team average 49.2 rebounds per game. And will look to get second chance opportunities on offense. The Orlando Magic will need rebounding from all positions to be successful. Winning the rebound battle will be difficult with Howard in the game, but Orlando has to make it competitive. Limiting Charlotte to one shot on a possession will help Orlando to push the pace and play the style of offense they like. Look for Orlando to work hard on the defensive glass to end possessions for Charlotte.
This is the first game of a back to back for Orlando. In these situations Coach Frank Vogel will take advantage of his team’s depth. The Magic want to play great tonight but also be fresh for tomorrow’s game. Instead of the usual nine-man rotation, Vogel will most likely go deep into the bench earlier than usual. Look for Arron Afflalo, Mario Hezonja, Marreese Speights and Wesley Iwundu to get time early in the game.