Boston Celtics (7-6) vs. Orlando Magic (5-7)
Glen Davis has been looking forward to this game for a while now. Not only are the Magic in the midst of a five-game home stand, one that could very well set their season in one direction or another. OK, maybe most people expect it to go south, but the Magic have to play the games and have a chance to get into the Playoff picture… early at least.
Davis is looking forward to this game for more selfish reasons though. For the first time, he has what he wants for his career — a leadership and starting role for a team. And Davis wants to show his former teammates in Boston that he has grown as a player.
Davis had a role in three losses to the Celtics last year for the Magic. But this is certainly a much different matchup. Davis is averaging a career-best 14.9 points per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the field. The field goal percentage is not so great, but Davis is still learning how to be a high usage player.
If anyone knows how dangerous this Magic team can be it is Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
Rivers coached a star-less Magic team in 2000 that surprisingly went 41-41 and missed the Playoffs by a game. That team was incredibly scrappy and strong on the defensive end. More importantly, that team played hard and defied all the low expectations.
Davis, who flew three rows into the stands for a loose ball Friday against the Cavaliers, embodies that hustle that is reminiscent of that 2000 team. Time to see if Boston is ready for that kidn of a battle. Or if Orlando is.
Other Storylines to Watch
-Brandon Bass is returning to Orlando where he likely will want to prove something as much as Glen Davis does. The Magic shipped Bass to Boston for Davis after picking Ryan Anderson over him and going for Davis as the traditional power forward for their lineup. Bass has been very strong for the Celtics despite bouncing in and out of the starting lineup.
-Jacque Vaughn has gotten his team off to a good start, or at least better than many had projected. The Magic still have times when the offense really struggles, but the team continues to play hard and fight. Getting to .500 is the team's goal right now and this homestand is a big part of getting there.
Tonight's Other Games
San Antonio Spurs (10-3) vs. Toronto Raptors (3-10)
The Spurs continue to defy age and play extremely well. Maybe that should not be a surprise. Watch the point guard matchup in this game as Tony Parker goes up against Jose Calderon and Kyle Lowry.
Detroit Pistons (3-10) vs. New York Knicks (8-3)
The Pistons have gotten some great play from Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, setting a nice foundation for their rebuilding. But there is no doubt that Detroit is still a far way from getting back to the glory days of the 2000s. The Knicks should be focused in this game because of the 130 points they gave up to the Rockets on Friday.
Portland Trail Blazers (6-6) vs. Brooklyn Nets (7-4)
Gerald Wallace goes up against his former team as he works his way back from injury. The Nets have gotten some superb play from center Brook Lopez of late on the offensive end. His matchup with LaMarcus Aldridge should be a stern test for this hot Brooklyn team.
Phoenix Suns (6-7) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (7-6)
The Suns are the masters of comebacks this year. They have erased at least five double-digit deficits in the second half of games this year in victories. That includes Friday's double-overtime victory against New Orleans. That is a dangerous way to play, but it is working for Phoenix at the moment.
New Orleans Hornets (3-8) vs. Denver Nuggets (7-6)
Robin Lopez was a bit upset that he got booed in his return to Phoenix last year. He said he wanted to stay with the Suns, but that the Hornets contract offer was simply better. Lopez has been the starting center for New Orleans this year and has had a decent season, averaging 10.9 points per game this season.