Friday’s game: Wizards-Magic preview

Friday’s game: Wizards-Magic preview
March 29, 2013, 8:00 am
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Wizards vs. Magic

at Amway Arena

TV: CSN, 7 p.m. ET

Season series: Wizards lead 2-1.

Last meeting: The Wizards won 120-91 on Jan. 14 at Verizon Center.  They had a season-high 32 assists and had six players in double figures in John Wall’s second game back from a knee injury. C Emeka Okafor led the way with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Previous game: The Wizards lost at the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-80 on Wednesday to fall to 26-45. The Magic lost to the Charlotte Bobcats 114-108 on Wednesday to fall to 18-54.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards -– PG Wall, SG Garrett Temple, SF Trevor Booker, PF Chris Singleton, C Okafor. Magic –- PG Jameer Nelson, SG DeQuan Jones, SF Maurice Harkless, PF Tobias Harris, C Kyle O’Quinn

Pivotal matchup: Wall vs. Nelson. Both rosters have been decimated by injuries, and a bulk of the scoring will have to be done by the distributors. Nelson had a game-high 19 points in the last meeting, but Wall was playing just his second game of the season as he returned from a left knee injury. The Magic lack a true starting center and aren't as good defensively  which should give Wall a significant edge. 

Trending upward: Despite being undersized and undermanned, Okafor was key to the Wizards grabbing 16 offensive rebounds in Oklahoma City. The Wizards were plus-9 in that category and had eight steals. Temple had four of them. ... C Kevin Seraphin came off the bench to score 12 points on 6-for-14 shooting and grab eight rebounds.

Trending downward: It sounds like a broken record, but the Wizards keep losing players to injuries and illnesses. The latest casualty was C Jason Collins (flu), who they believe contracted his condition from SF Trevor Ariza (flu) who may have caught it from Okafor. Okafor, however, has played and only missed one game. It wouldn't be fair to criticize too much about the team's performance and inability to score because a bulk of the offense has been gutted with only eight players able to dress Wednesday. ... Seraphin only attempted two free throws in 32 minutes. ... Singleton, a 18.8% three-point shooter for the season, was 1-for-6. 

Around the bend: Sunday vs. Toronto Raptors, 6 p.m. ET; Tuesday vs. Chicago Bulls, 7; Wednesday at Raptors, 7.  Games on CSN.