Boston @ Orlando
Boston: 105.6 points/100 possessions (11th)
Orlando: 97.8 points/100 possessions (29th)
Boston: 107.0 points/100 possessions (24th)
Orlando: 101.4 points/100 possessions (4th)
Probable Magic Starters: Jameer Nelson (PG), Aaron Afflalo (SG), Moe Harkless (SF),Glen Davis (PF), Nikola Vucevic(C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Magic Basketball
The Celtics arrive in Orlando tonight to face a Magic squad riding a bit of momentum themselves, with a two-game winning streak in hand, during a five-game home stand for Jacque Vaughn’s crew. Most fans will paying attention to former Celtic and now Magic captain Big Baby tonight, but keep your eyes on Celtic castoff E’Twaun Moore as well. The former Purdue star who Danny Ainge dumped to acquire Courtney Lee in July, has been quite an offensive threat for Orlando early, playing point guard off the bench and also filling in quite well for an injured Jameer Nelson a few weeks back as well.
Moore is averaging just over 10 points per game, is shooting nearly 44 percent from beyond the arc all while playing just under 30 minutes per game. After being glued to the bench for the majority of the 2011-12 season under Doc Rivers, expect Moore to be itching to prove the C’s wrong for choosing to trade him away this offseason.
As far as the team matchup goes, Orlando should be an interesting test for Boston on both sides of the floor. They boost a top-5 defense to date, which is somewhat misleading due to an easy early schedule. Boston will have plenty of matchups to exploit against Orlando all over the floor, but Harkless guarding Pierce will be an interesting matchup to watch as athleticism faces off with a veteran’s savvy.
On the other side of the floor, the Magic really do struggle to put the ball in the basket. Boston took some baby steps forward in their defensive effort against the explosive Thunder Friday night, but tonight will be a good test against an inferior defensive team to see if Boston can sustain their momentum and limit their mistakes on the defensive end.
Prediction: Celtics 98, Magic 88