The New York Knicks, this season’s last remaining undefeated team, are in town to face the Orlando Magic. Here’s a look at the storylines to watch as the Magic try to end their four-game losing streak.
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Amway Center.
TV: Fox Sports Florida. Radio: FM 96.5. Spanish-language radio: elorlandomagic.com.
Projected Knicks starters
G Jason Kidd (6-4/220)
G Raymond Felton (6-1/205)
Wing Ronnie Brewer (6-7/235)
Wing Carmelo Anthony (6-8/235)
C Tyson Chandler (7-1/240)
Projected Magic starters
PG E’Twaun Moore (6-4/191)
SG J.J. Redick (6-4/190)
SF Arron Afflalo (6-5/215)
PF Glen Davis (6-9/289)
C Nik Vucevic (7-0/240)
• For New York, power forward Amar’e Stoudemire and guard Iman Shumpert are out because of knee issues.
• For Orlando, point guard Jameer Nelson, who has missed the last five games because of groin and hamstring strains, is listed as "doubtful." But he did practice on Monday — even doing some drills against coach Jacque Vaughn. Rookie wing DeQuan Jones has a groin strain that he originally suffered during the team’s last preseason game, and team officials don’t want him to aggravate the injury. Small forward Hedo Turkoglu (broken hand) and power forward Al Harrington (knee) will not play.
Reasons to watch
• This is a matchup between one of the league’s most surprising teams against a team mired in a four-game losing streak. A win would be big for the Magic.
• Can the Magic snap out of their offensive doldrums, which seem to be hitting everyone at the moment except for Afflalo? Orlando has averaged just 72 points in its last three games.
Anthony decimated the Magic last season, averaging 25.7 points per game in just 31.3 minutes per game. This time, he’ll be guarded often by his former Denver Nuggets teammate, Afflalo. You’ll find divergent opinions on Afflalo’s defensive skill, and he will have a height disadvantage against Anthony. Still, Afflalo is an upgrade defensively on the wing for the Magic.
Knicks scouting report
The Knicks have beaten the Miami Heat, the Philadelphia 76ers twice and the Dallas Mavericks. New York hasn’t played since Friday, a 104-94 win over Dallas, so the team should be well-rested, too. . . . Center Tyson Chandler is the league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year. . . . Anthony is averaging 27.3 points per game. . . . J.R. Smith, another former teammate of Afflalo’s, is averaging 17.5 points per game off the Knicks’ bench.
The last time
The Knicks haven’t played at Amway Center since April 5, a lopsided 96-80 win over the Magic. But that day was significant for other reasons. That was the same day when Stan Van Gundy, following Orlando’s shootaround, said, in response to a direct question, that Dwight Howard wanted him to be fired.
Did you know?
Stoudemire, Anthony and Redick played in the 2002 McDonald’s All-American Game. . . . Smith, Afflalo and Davis played together in the 2004 McDonald’s All-American Game.
They said it
“It's good to see [Jameer Nelson] go up and down a bit. See how his body responds. We'll talk to him in the morning.” — Vaughn, speaking on Monday
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.