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Wizards vs. Magic preview: One win from .500

The Washington Wizards go into tonight's game against the Orlando Magic needing only one more win to reach .500. Here's what you need to know.


One more win. Despite a number of injuries, the Washington Wizards are 8-9 following Saturday's win, and another tonight would put the team at .500. Their opponent, the Orlando Magic, are in the middle of a rebuild and should be one of the weakest teams in the NBA this year. Let's see if Washington can pull it off.

Where and when? Tip off is at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center.

Are they good? No, but there are worse teams out there. Orlando is 6-10 on the year, largely due to some enormous contributions from Arron Afflalo and Nikola Vucevic. Both players are posting PER's over 20, with Afflalo averaging just over 20 points with a high level of efficiency while Vucevic chips in an average of 15 points and 11 rebounds per game.

Who's out? Orlando is definitely going to be without Tobias Harris, while Jameer Nelson is listed as questionable for tonight. The Wizards are going to be missing Al Harrington, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter.

What are they good at? The Magic are crushing it on the defensive glass, collecting 74.9% of all available defensive rebounds, good for fourth in the NBA. Vucevic and power forward Andrew Nicholson have had a lot to do with this. The rest of the team isn't too bad, either, with Glenn Davis the only player receiving major minutes who's not pulling his weight when it comes to rebounding.

What are they bad at? The Magic just don't take care of the ball. Their 16% turnover percentage is 27th in the NBA per Basketball Reference, a testament Victor Oladipo's struggles as a point guard. The rookie guard is averaging five turnovers per 36 minutes along with only 4.4 assists. Nelson has also struggled, turning the ball over on 19.4% of his plays, a career worst mark. With a young roster and Oladipo expected to take on an even larger role as he adjusts to the NBA game, there's little reason to believe that the Magic are going to be able to turn it around this year.

Who's going to win? Washington's a better team and playing at home, so the Wizards should pull out the W and finally make it to .500. If Orlando is going to pull off an upset, they're going to need to get a big night from Oladipo and hope that Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza are too worn down to chase Afflalo around screens.