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Young talent, Tyreke Evans, will host Dwight and the Magic Jan 8
The second week of January will involve a three-game west coast road trip. No matter what sport, baseball, football, or basketball, making a road trip for six consecutive days, it will affect a team.
Athletes want routine and familiarity. That being said, I believe the Magic can possibly drop two of the three games in this west coast swing without some mental toughness.
First up, the Sacramento Kings (1-2) and young star Tyreke Evans. The Kings hold the edge in the all-time meetings between the teams, having a 23-22 record over the Magic. Orlando will have to contain guard Marcus Thorton, averaging 20.3 points per game. Thorton is shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.
If the Magic can play sound, fundamental basketball, they will pocket another win, continuing the winning streak to five.
The second game of the road trip is at the Portland Trailblazers (3-0). Portland will pose match-up issues for the Magic. LaMarcus Alridge is continuing his All-Star play from last season, averaging 20.7 points and 6.7 boards per game. Marcus Camby anchors the defense and cleans the glass, averaging 11.3 rebounds per game.
The real match-up issue will be at the small forward with Hedo Turkoglu against Gerald Wallace. Wallace is athletic and active, which are the two characteristics Turkoglu has problems with defensively. We should expect to see more Quentin Richardson in this game to give a defensive boost. However, I do think that the Trailblazers will be a little too much for the Magic.
The anchor game of the west coast trip is against the Golden State Warriors (2-1). Guard Monta Ellis is a scoring machine, averaging 21 points. Ellis can drop 50 on any given night with his ability to score. Forward David Lee is a double-double factory. He will most likely get his double-double but will not be a significant factor in the game.
If young phenom Stephen Curry is completely healed from his ankle injury, the Warriors will most likely want to push the ball, not allowing Howard to get established in the paint. This game can go either way. Due to the travel, the Magic may drop this game, as well.
WEEK 2 FORECAST: 1-2 (TOTAL:5-2)