The Orlando Magic are sitting quite comfortably in the NBA playoff picture and, while they'd like to close the gap between themselves and the Miami Heat, suffering a couple of losses as the season winds down shouldn't hurt their chances at making the postseason.
The same can't be said about the New York Knicks, Orlando's Wednesday night opponents. The two teams will square at 7 p.m. in a game scheduled to be televised on ESPN, but the scene will be lacking some of New York's higher-profile players when the cameras are powered on prior to the game.
The Knicks will be without Amare Stoudemire, due to an ailing back, as well as Jeremy Lin who will be missing the game with a "sore knee," according to the team. Carmelo Anthony is expected to play, but the other All-Star is questionable himself as he deals with a groin injury.
That doesn't set up well for New York, of course, as they need every win available as the regular season comes to a close. Mike Woodson was able to get his team a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night and increase their lead in the standings, but the standings still show them in eighth place -- and therefore the last team to make the playoffs if the season ended today.
Orlando doesn't have nearly as much to worry about as their 32-18 record is good for third place in the conference behind the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat. Dwight Howard's team goal is likely to make up ground and catch the Heat in the Southeast Division's standings, but at four games back already ... it won't be easy.
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