Originally posted on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 2/9/13
Road trip continues The Portland Trail Blazers are 1-2 half way through their six-game road tip, and the Orlando Magic should provide for a good warm-up before Rip City takes on the Miami Heat Tuesday night. Matchup: Portland (25-25) @ Orlando Magic (14-36) Venue: Amway Center Time: 3:00 PM PT Date: Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 No team in the NBA can be considered a throwaway, but the Magic are near the bottom of the league for a reason. The Magic are just 2-15 since the last time they played Portland. (Photo: Don Ryan/AP) Game Notes/How They Match Up The Blazers and the Magic are headed in different directions. Portland is trying its hardest to make the postseason, while the Magic are simply hoping to strike gold in the lottery this summer. Since the last time these two teams faced off, the Blazers have gone 7-10. That’s nothing to brag about, but when you compare it to the 2-15 record of the Magic, it’s clear that these teams are simply on different levels. Both teams are coming off of high-scoring losses, which is indicative of their struggling defenses. Neither team has proven to have an elite offense, but a lot of points could be scored in this one if the defenses don’t show up. What to Watch: Portland The last time the Blazers played the Magic, they scored 60 points in the paint. That’s a strong mark for any team, but it’s especially impressive for a Portland squad that goes through serious cold spells when it comes to scoring down low. The Magic aren’t good at defending the paint, and the Blazers have to take advantage. Whether it be in half-court or fast-break situations, the Blazers can’t settle for jumpers against this group. Orlando will give you open jump shots, but you have to stay disciplined and not take the easy way out. LaMarcus Aldridge will be the No. 1 option when it comes to low-post scoring, but the slashing natures of Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum should be able to take full advantage above the rim. What to Watch: Orlando The Orlando Magic are the not-so-proud owners of the league’s longest losing streak. They’ve lost 12 straight contests, and they’re making a strong push for the No. 1 spot in the post-season draft lottery. According to 82games.com, J.J. Redick has the highest simple rating of anybody on the Orlando roster. There’s no true science to determining a team’s best player, but there’s also no denying that Redick was the most productive player on the team the last time they played Portland. Redick went for 29 points and five assists on Jan. 7, and he did it in efficient fashion. His 11-of-17 shooting is even more impressive when you see he was 6-of-10 from behind the arc, and he was the only player on the Magic who finished with a positive number in the plus-minus category. Nikola Vucevic will challenge J.J. Hickson come Sunday. (Photo: Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY) Redick is questionable heading into Sunday’s game, and it will be interesting to see where Orlando finds its points if the guard is unable to play. Key Matchup Although it won’t be the sexiest matchup Sunday night, the battle on the block between J.J. Hickson and Nikola Vucevic will help decide the game when it’s all said and done. Vucevic is coming off a 25-point, 13-rebound performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s been on a roll as of late, and he’s going to be a tough assignment for J.J. Hickson come Sunday. The positive sign for Portland is that Hickson can be just as effective. We’ve seen him challenge bigger players all year, and Vucevic isn’t going to scare him at any point in this contest. Injury Report Portland: DAY-TO-DAY—Ronnie Price Orlando: OUT—Glen Davis, DAY-TO-DAY—Hedo Turkoglu, J.J. Redick Prediction Portland has been a much better team than Orlando this season, and even though the road has been a tough place to win, the Blazers should emerge victorious against a team that is struggling to find its identity in the post-Dwight Howard era. Blazers 105 – Magic 93 CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

What does Tevin Coleman’s return mean for Devonta Freeman?

Antonio Cromartie: Odell Beckham Jr. a ‘one hit wonder’

Thompson fires shots at Clippers: ‘Didn’t they lose to the Rockets?’

'Sell high' and 'buy low' fantasy candidates

Marshawn Lynch ruled out by Seahawks for Week 5

Howard says he played through torn MCL, meniscus in playoffs


Bills offensive progress stalled by injuries

Bruins’ Zac Rinaldo: Raffi Torres’ suspension 'really opened my eyes’

Cowboys’ Sean Lee cleared to play vs. Patriots after concussion battle

NHL Dept. of Player Safety inconsistent with discipline?

Tennessee desperate for big win over #19 Georgia

UCLA punter Adam Searl arrested on suspicion of rape

WATCH: Prince Fielder wipes out trying to climb over dugout railing

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

What’s wrong with Ohio State’s offense?

Weeden: ‘I don’t need a 12-yr-old telling me how to play’

Fan at Texas A&M game was so drunk, he reportedly told police he was at Baylor vs. Texas Tech

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Mallett’s dad: Criticism of QB makes his grandmothers cry

LSU has sold a disappointing amount of tickets for South Carolina game

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of the college football season

Dalton motivated by getting booed at celebrity softball game

Which undefeated college team has best résumé?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

NHL Department of Player Safety inconsistent in disciplining players?

Explaining the silence on Thabo Sefolosha’s police brutality trial

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of CFB

Joe Maddon's defensive calculus

Sepp Blatter appeals FIFA suspension

Looking at four NHL goaltenders who debuted for new teams

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker