On Game Day 43 it is back at it with Washington for Orlando. The Magic are on a long losing streak despite numerous hard fought, close games. Fans are getting desperate for something to cheer.
The tip time in Washington is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being midnight here in the UK (7pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando). To watch the game live or on demand in the UK today you will need an active NBA League Pass 2021/22 subscription.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s match up, history and what to expect.
Sunday 9th January – Washington Wizards 102 – 100 Orlando Magic
The Magic Performance – Orlando had a chance to win it at the death but two blocked shots in the finals seconds saw Orlando lose. Terrence Ross had been on firing, scoring 32 points from the bench. Again offensively he was the only significant scoring contributor from the unit. Cole Anthony notched 12 points. Franz Wagner returned to scoring double digits when he scored 16. He has scored double figures in 35 of his 41 NBA games, including attaining 20-points or more on 10 occasions. Gary Harris maintained a run of double-digit score with 11 points, this now sits at 20 in his last 22 games. Mo Bamba scored 10 points, 2 steals and 9 rebounds. Chuma Okeke as a starter hit 8 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and a block.
Tuesday 11th January – Oklahoma City Thunder 118 – 122 Washington Wizards
The Wizards Performance – a high scoring four quarters of basketball saw five Washington players record double digit scoring. Kyle Kuzma led the team with 29 points. Spencer Dinwiddie had 22 points and 10 assists. Bradley Beal was out.
Orlando’s record is now 7 wins and 34 losses. The Magic remain last in the Eastern Conference and have the NBA’s worst record. The Magic have now lost 9 games consecutively. Of the last 10 games played the Magic have won 1. The home record stands at 2 wins of 17 games played, whilst on the road it is 5 wins in 24 played. Points per game sees the Magic score 101.7 whilst conceding 110.9, still rating 28th on offence and 24th defensively.
Washington have a record of 21 wins and 20 losses, including winning their last two games played. The Wizarrds are 9th in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played they have won 5. Their home record stands at 10 wins in 18 played. In points per game the Washington score 107.7, whilst conceding 109.8. The Wizards are 17th in the NBA for offensive rating and 23rd defensively.
Head-To-Head – The Washington Wizards
The all time regular season record sees 129 games played, with the Magic ahead 73-56. Washington have won the last three match-ups between these two teams, Orlando winning the 6 meetings before that.
This is the third meeting of four games against our Southeast Division rivals. The first game on November 13th (Game Day 13) saw the Wizards win 104-92 in the Amway Center. The second was again in the Amway Center with Washington taking a 102-100 victory on January 9th (Game Day 42).
Last season the Magic took the series over the Wizards by 2-1.
These two teams have never met in the playoffs.
Our Opponents – The Washington Wizards
Washington’s first season head coach Wes Unseld is assisted by former Magic assistant coach Pat Delany. After their surprise start to the season Washington have fallen back .
As I write the Washington Wizards are listed on ESPN as having two significant absences. Thomas Bryant remained out through a knee injury last night, having been expected to make his season debut against OKC. Could he return tonight? The other is to team leader and All-Star Bradley Beal. He is out having re-entered NBA COVID protocols.
The Wizards’ starting unit from their last game was Spencer Dinwiddie (PG), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG), Kyle Kuzma (PF), Cory Kispert (SF) and Daniel Gafford (C).
From the bench came Montrezl Harrell, Raul Neto, Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura and Davis Bertans. Available but not featured were Aaron Holiday, Greg Monroe and Isaiah Todd.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
As we go back at it with Washington, for Orlando ESPN is still not happy reading.
Wendell Carter Jr remains day-to-day, being a questionable game time decision with a sore left hamstring.
Mo Bamba is day-to day with a toe injury, making him questionable.
Markelle Fultz is training with the Lakeland Magic but there remains no public timeline for his return.
Jalen Suggs is out with a fractured right thumb. He is practicing and expected to return during this three game road trip.
E’Twaun Moore remains out with a sprained left knee.
Michael Carter-Williams is out after surgery to remove a bone fragment and repair his left ankle ligament.
Jonathan Isaac continues to be out as he rehabilitates from the surgically repaired left knee. He is said to be making steady progress. There remains no public timeline for his return to the court.
Back At It With Washington For Orlando – The Magic Lineup
Coach Mosely will again have decisions to make on automatic starters Wendell Carter Jr and Mo Bamba.
Magic Starting Lineup Last Game – Cole Anthony (PG), Gary Harris (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Chuma Okeke (PF), Mo Bamba (C)
Magic Bench Unit Last Game – Terrence Ross, RJ Hampton, Tim Frazier, Freddie Gillespie*, Moritz Wagner, Admiral Schofield (DNP), Ignas Brazdeikis (DNP)
Additional Players Available Tonight – Robin Lopez is out of NBA protocols for COVID-19 and available.
*Freddie Gillespie has not had his 10 day contract renewed so is no longer part of the Magic squad.
Final Thoughts As It Is Back At It With Washington For Orlando
As with the previous game for Orlando game time decisions will be key. The availability of Wendell Carter Jr and Mo Bamba could be crucial to the outcome. Orlando’s offence will again rely heavily on Cole Anthony, Franz Wagner, Gary Harris and Terrence Ross, unless someone else can find a much needed spark.
Washington will rely heavily on Kyle Kuzma and Spencer Dinwiddie with Bradley Beal being out. The return of Montrezl Harrell is not a welcome sight. He is exceptionally capable of doing damage to Orlando on both ends of the floor.
Chuma Okeke showed improvement in form in the last game, despite the disruption experienced to his season. That must continue. RJ Hampton will have another opportunity to show both his potential and value.
Yet again Orlando must control the turnovers and unnecessary fouls. It has hurt all season but saw huge improvement in our last game. Active hands on defence will see Orlando make steals (9 last time out) allowing for valuable and easy points. Defence of the two pointer will need to be solid as Washington attack the paint consistently. They take and make three-pointers at some of the lowest rates in the NBA.
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Let’s Go Magic!