Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets vs. Orlando Magic: Saturday’s preview

Hornets vs. Magic

7 p.m., Time Warner Cable Arena

TV: SportSouth. Radio: WFNZ-AM 610

Projected Starters

Hornets Magic
Pos, Player Ppg Rpg Pos, Player Ppg Rpg
G, K. Walker 16.9 4.0 G E. Payton 6.5 3.2
G, G. Henderson 8.4 2.3 G V. Oladipo 14.2 3.8
F, M. Kidd-Gilchrit 9.0 5.5 F T. Harris 18.6 7.2
F, C. Zeller 7.8 5.3 F K. O’Quinn 9.2 5.5
C, A. Jefferson 19.1 8.2 C N. Vucevic 18.2 11.8

Matchup to Watch

Al Jefferson vs. Nic Vucevic: They have similar stats at center and similar body types. The bulkier, stronger centers tend to do better defensively against Jefferson than the shot blockers, who tend to bite on Jefferson’s shot fakes.

Observations

• The Magic is obviously in youth/rebuilding mode. Orlando’s roster has the average age of 25 years, 94 days – fourth-youngest in the NBA behind Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Utah.



• The Elfrid Payton-Victor Oladipo backcourt has huge potential defensively.



Tap-ins

• The Magic has been without rookie Aaron Gordon, recovering from a broken left foot.



• Magic forward Tobias Harris looks like a candidate for NBA Most Improved Player.



Did you know?

The 23-point deficit the Magic overcame to beat the Hornets last month was the third-largest in franchise history. No. 1 – a 25-point comeback against the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 1989.

Rick Bonnell

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