How Nash's Groin and Rashard Lewis Can Propel The Magic to a Win Over The Suns

Thomas JarrellContributor IINovember 18, 2010

MIAMI - NOVEMBER 17:  Steve Nash #13  of the Phoenix Suns dribbles around Udonis Haslem #40 during a game against the  Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on November 17, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tonight, the Orlando Magic are set to host the Phoenix Suns at the Amway Center. Wednesday night, the Suns started off their first game of a four game road trip against the Miami Heat, who handily defeated them by a score of 123-96. Therefore, the 6-5 Suns will be looking to redeem themselves tonight against the other Floridian powerhouse in the Southeastern Division with a victory.

In recent history, the Suns have tasted a fair amount of success against the Orlando Magic, winning eight of their last twelve meetings with them. However, the Suns have not won a game in Orlando since the 2007-2008 season, including last season where Magic beat down the Suns by a final score of 122-100. 

Aside from their recent misfortunes in Orlando, the Suns may at a further disadvantage this evening, as Steve's Nash's status is questionable for tonight's match-up. Nash was hindered in the Suns' last showing against the Heat due to an injured groin. His injury limited him to only 17 points and a season-low two assists. Nash himself admitted that he "took a little risk," in playing against the Heat on Wednesday night and his willingness to risk further injury by tonight playing against Orlando. Nash's status for tonight's game will be a game time decision. 

Against the Heat, the Suns allowed Chris Bosh to score a season-high 35 points. The Orlando Magic may utilize Rashard Lewis in the same manner that Miami exploited the Suns' inability to cover Chris Bosh on Wednesday night, due to their similar playing styles and abilities. However, Lewis is only averaging 10.3 points per-game, which is his lowest since his sophomore season with Seattle. The game tonight may provide Lewis with an opportunity to break out of the funk that he has been in and come up with a big game to boost Orlando to their eighth win of the season. If not, the Magic may rely heavily on Dwight Howard's ability on the interior, especially with Robin Lopez out due to a strained knee. Jameer Nelson, who is averaging 14.5 points per game, may be able to provide a boost to the Magic, especially if Steve Nash experiences further complications due to his groin injury. 

Although the Suns have the power and the talent to beat the Magic, without a healthy Steve Nash, I look for the Magic to hand the Suns their second consecutive loss tonight in Orlando.