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Game Thread #45: Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic

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Indiana Pacers
17-27 33-10
January 27, 2009 - 7:00PM EST
Amway Arena
Radio: 1070AM WFNI TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
Jarrett Jack PG Jameer Nelson
Mike Dunleavy SG Courtney Lee
Danny Granger SF Hedo Turkoglu
Troy Murphy PF Rashard Lewis
Jeff Foster C Dwight Howard

The Indiana Pacers head to Orlando to take on the Magic after winning a pair of games at home and appearing to tighten things up at the defensive end of the floor. With a strong inside presence and even stronger perimeter shooting, the Magic figure to test whatever progress the Pacers have made.

Regardless of the defensive effort, the Pacers will have to shoot it better than they have in the past two games. The team has done well rising to challenges this year so hopefully they'll pack the shooting touch to make sure this one goes down to the wire.

The timing could be better for the Pacers. Heading into tonight's game, the Magic have lost two in a row (Boston, Miami) so Stan Van Gundy used the rare struggle this season to light a fire under his best players. Last thing I want to see tonight is a focused and surly Dwight Howard. Fortunately, I don't think Howard does surly, but if he's focused and ready to go he'll bring plenty of beast to the party for the Pacers front line. May need to activate a couple more bigs tonight, just in case.

Here are the matchups. Another game and another local player involved. Courtney Lee has exceeded expectations this year as a rookie and worked his way into the playing rotation for the Magic. The former Pike standout has started the last nine games for the Magic, stepping in for the injured Mickael Pietrus. He will likely try to defend Danny Granger which will help keep Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis fresh to shoot the ball, although Danny should have a nice size advantage on Lee.

For an Orlando perspective, check out Third Quarter Collapse.

Gameday Reading

Leave your comments and observations on the game in the comments.