3-on-3: Previewing Magic @ Hornets

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Published: January 27, 2012

The Magic are in New Orleans for the first matchup between the two teams this season.

Jarrett Jack may be the Hornets best chance to do damage on offense.

1. Which matchup most favors the Magic?

Mason Ginsberg – The easy answer is Dwight Howard, but I’m going to go with his front-court counterpart, Ryan Anderson. The Hornets don’t really have a big man mobile enough to effectively guard stretch 4s, so Anderson could give New Orleans fits, especially with that 3-point shot of his.

Joe – Look, up in the Sky! It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s Superman! Sorry for that, but Dwight Howard has historically made Emeka Okafor look like a scrub.

Ryan Schwan – I’d be an idiot not to say Dwight Howard.  Sorry, Mason.

2. Which matchup most favors the Hornets?

Mason – Jameer Nelson has been downright awful this season (PER under 10), and Jarrett Jack has been arguably the Hornets’ best player. Jack is quick enough to drive past him and tall enough to shoot over him, so I expect another strong performance for the Hornets’ leading scorer.

Joe – I’m trying to find a matchup that the Hornets out-right win, but I’m really not having much success They definitely have more depth in the front court, so if Dwight or Anderson get into foul trouble, the Hornets will have the edge there. Landry will undoubtedly have to draw some early fouls for that to be a possibility.

Ryan – Agreed with Mason.  Jarrett Jack should be able to beat up on Nelson, who seems to have lost confidence in his game and is no longer aggressive.

3. Care to make some predictions about the game?

Mason – Call me crazy, but I think the Hornets actually match up fairly well overall against Orlando. They have enough capable big men to pester foul Howard all game long, and New Orleans has done a pretty good job so far this season defending the 3-point shot, holding opponents to 31.5% from long range. If the Hornets force Howard to get his points from the FT line and close out on the Magic’s shooters, they can definitely win this game. I say they do – 91-86 Hornets.

Joe – This will be the Magic’s fourth game in their last five days, and they’re coming off a loss last night against Boston. Frankly, I’m not sure that they’re going to show up against a Hornets team they should stomp on paper. The Bees are going to play hard for 48 minutes. They’re are desperate for a home victory, and I think they finally pull through late in the game, giving the crowd reason to cheer after a rough couple days. Unless of course the Magic get hot from deep. Then it’s hard to see the Hornets winning,

Ryan – without Aaron Gray to dominate Dwight Howard this year, the Hornets are in trouble.  Plus, I keep waiting for a team to simply destroy the Hornets from deep – as the Hornets frequently give up that shot – and there isn’t a team in the league better suited to pummel the Hornets with threes than the Orlando Magic.

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