The Nuggets play their first game of the Pickaxe and Roll era tonight as the Orlando Magic Kingdoms roll into the Pepsi center. First of all, I realize that Disney owns ESPN and that they play a major role in enriching our everyday lives, but I am not happy with how Disney has long ago infiltrated the realm of sports nicknames. Do we really need to debase the NBA team in Orlando and turn them into nothing more than a marketing tool for Disney? I have been to both Disneyworld and Disneyland and the only magic going on there is the way they make the money in my checking account disappear into thin air.
Sure I may be fifteen years late on that, but this is my first blog post dealing with Orlando so I just have not had a chance to break that out from the outdated sports rants archive.
Moving on, tonight’s game should be very interesting. Orlando is somewhat like Golden State East as they force your front court to play some serious perimeter defense. They play relatively quickly on offense with a pace factor of 97.2 good for the seventh fastest pace in the league. Of course, the Nuggets cram the most possessions into every game with a pace factor of 102.6. Look for a brisk pace and a lot of points.
Orland is also a good road team having won 16 of their 22 games away from Amway Arena. I would attribute that to their relief of not having to play in the arena with the most embarrassing corporate name in all of professional sports. Orlando has already defeated Toronto, Cleveland, New Orleans, Portland, the Lakers and Golden State among others on the road this season. Conversely the Nuggets have returned to being a strong home team where they have gone back to piling on bad teams.
There are some interesting matchup problems that Orlando presents for the Nuggets. Marcus Camby has no chance to cover a beast like Howard. The Nuggets know this and I would imagine they will put Martin on Howard, but that leaves Camby to cover either Rashard Lewis or Hedo Turkoglu. Camby hates leaving the paint at all on defense and Golden State was able to take advantage of Camby having to play defense on the perimeter. I imagine Orlando will have similar success. One option for the Nuggets is to play a little more zone that usual, but that is not necessarily a good option.
The Nuggets will have some success on offense as well. Maurice Evans will probably be matched up against AI and that should be very good for the Nuggets. Evans is a good athlete and solid defender, but he does not have the quickness to handle Iverson and of course neither Turkoglu nor Lewis can guard Carmelo.
I have no idea what will happen tonight, but I think we can count on a very interesting and entertaining game.
Third Quarter Collapse has a preview of the game from an Orlando Magic perspective.
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Denver Nuggets - Orlando Magic Game Thread: