NBA: Orlando Magic at Seattle Sonics Preview & Picks Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 07:00
NBA Headline News

Mixed Emotions

Rashard Lewis spent the first nine years of his career with the Seattle SuperSonics before joining the Orlando Magic in the offseason.

With his former team floundering and considering a move to Oklahoma City after the season, Lewis makes his first - and possibly final trip - to Seattle on Wednesday with mixed emotions.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Orlando –8.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 211 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on Orlando –8.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

After being drafted in the second round out of high school in 1998 by Seattle, Lewis spent nine seasons with the SuperSonics. He averaged more than 20 points in each of his last three seasons with them, including in 2006-07 when he averaged a career-high 22.4 points.

Lewis opted out of the final two years of his contract with Seattle as the Sonics began their rebuilding process, and Orlando acquired him as part of a sign-and-trade deal in July. He said, however, that if Seattle had made him an offer in the $90 to $100 million range, he would have chosen to return.

"I started here. I grew as a man here. I was drafted in the second round, but I became an All-Star here in Seattle. I grew with the fans, the community," Lewis said. "There was just a lot of things I was really settled in, my feet were really planted in this city.

"Just watching (the Sonics) sometimes on TV I feel a little jealous I'm not out there on that court with those guys."

Lewis faced his former team for the first time on Nov. 13, scoring 22 points in a 103-76 win in Orlando. He said afterward he felt he had something to prove.

"You put up good numbers and just kind of let them know what they missed," he said after the win.

Lewis, who is averaging 19.8 points per game this season, likely isn't upset about not being a part of his former team's franchise-tying worst 2-13 start, however, especially considering the Magic (13-3) have the league's second best record and come into Seattle having won three straight.

He had 20 points in Orlando's 85-74 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday. The Magic shot 41.3 percent from the field - their third lowest mark of the season - and the 85 points were a season-low.

Hedo Turkoglu led the way with 21 points while Dwight Howard was held to a season-low nine points on 4-of-10 shooting.

"It was a long, tough night for us tonight," Lewis said. "Our shots were flat. We didn't get any legs under our shots and missed a lot of wide-open 3s."

Despite the poor shooting, the Magic still pulled out their league-leading 13th victory of the season. Seattle, meanwhile, is tied with Minnesota for the league's fewest wins.

The Sonics fell 106-99 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday for their fifth straight loss since back-to-back wins over Miami and Atlanta on Nov. 14-16.

Rookie Kevin Durant had 25 points - 12 in the final 6:05 - and Chris Wilcox added 18, as the Sonics matched the start of the inaugural 1967-68 club. That team also lost its 16th game.

"We're getting better and better and we're playing harder," Durant said. "During crunch time, I think that's when we're really cracking down. But we have to do that the whole game."

Seattle is the only NBA team yet to win at home this season, dropping all six games. The Sonics have also lost four straight overall to the Magic, who are an NBA-best 8-1 on the road.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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