Thanks a lot Stan Van Gundy. Couldn’t you have called Dwight Howard out about his lack of attention to defense and rebounding after the All-Star break. The most physically imposing player in the league will now make sure to pay attention to defense and rebounding against Denver tonight. What better player for him to make an example of than the man who passed him as the top rebounder in the league (that would be Marcus Camby)?
Once again we are faced with the mismatch on the perimeter where Camby will have to step out and guard Rashard Lewis. Expect Camby to let Lewis get his shots until the fourth quarter when he will finally start to get out on him, because we all know that points in the fourth quarter count for more than points in the first.
Add in the fact that Denver typically plays with all the acumen of a quadriplegic mosquito when they go to Orlando having lost 14 straight and only winning two of the five games before that and tonight might be a long night.
In the previous meeting this season (game recap here, video clips here, you will have to scroll down to the Magic game) the Magic made sure the Nuggets did not beat them with the fast break. They rarely sent more than one player to the offensive glass and skedaddled their behinds back on D. Hedo Turkoglu had a terrible shooting game, which you better believe will not happen again.
The Nuggets were switching perimeter screens in the first meeting this season and hopefully they scrap that idea for tonight. Orlando also had a nice offensive set where they put a shooter (Lewis or Turkoglu) on one side and Howard on the other side of Jameer Nelson at the top of the key. Nelson could take either screen he wanted. No matter which way he went the shooter would pop out for a three and Howard would dive through the lane. It was pretty effective for them and if we will have to see if the Nuggets have come up with an answer for it.
This is the last game before the All-Star break and the Nuggets have won a season high four games on the road. A win tonight would provide a big boost of momentum heading into the last 30 games. The Nuggets are playing well and they are only half a game behind Utah for the division lead, but they are still only a game away from the lottery on the other end of things.
For some insightful thoughts from the Magic perspective head on over to Third Quarter Collapse, which hopefully we will see from the Magic tonight.