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Game 43 and Preview: Pelicans vs Magic

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
2013/2014 NBA Season

vs

17-25

12-32
January 26, 2014, 5:00 PM CDT
New Orleans, LA
FSNO, FSFL
Projected Starters
Brian Roberts Jameer Nelson
Eric Gordon Victor Oladipo
Al-Farouq Aminu Arron Afflalo
Anthony Davis Tobias Harris
Alexis Ajinca Glen Davis
Advanced Stats (2013/14)
92.6 (23) Pace 94.2 (16)
107.8 (10) ORtg 100.9 (26)
110.1 (30) DRtg 106.7 (18)

GAME PREVIEW

The Orlando Magic possess the 2nd worst record in the league and have only two wins (Celtics, Lakers) to their credit in 2014.

Probably, not coincidentally, Nikola Vucevic has played only once since New Year's Day and the Magic have been forced to go with a combination of Davis and Kyle O'Quinn at their center position. Vucevic has been dealing with concussion symptons, and although he is now traveling with the team, it appears unlikely he'll suit up against the Pelicans.

Consequently, the 3 keys to the game are rather obvious:

  • The Magic have been relying heavily on Nelson-Oladipo-Afflalo and the perimeter trio have combined for 48.5 points, 14.6 assists and 5.2 three's a game in January. The Pelicans need to do a good job containing this small but speedy cast by limiting their penetrations and contesting all jump shots.
  • With an undersized front court, the Pelicans should dominate the points in the paint. Anthony Davis should be able to limit Harris' explosiveness and our 3-headed center monster should use their length to their advantage against Big Baby.
  • In addition to the points in the paint, the Pelicans need to take care of business on the glass. Limit the Magic second chance points, while conversely, grab a healthy number of offensive rebounds for easy put-backs on the other end.

Tonight's outcome should give a good indication on how likely the Pelicans can challenge for a bottom-5 finish this season.

Geaux Pels!