Tonight the Magic are on the road for the second night of a back-to-back in Memphis as Orlando face the Grizzlies and MVP candidate Ja Morant. The Grizzlies are an impressive team on both ends of the floor. Will travel and game fatigue from last night this will be no easy task for Orlando on Game Day 65.
The tip time from Tennessee is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 1am here in the UK (8pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando). To watch the game live or on demand in the UK you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.
Let’s take a look at what has gone before and a little of what to expect.
Season Record And Last Time Out
The Orlando Magic
Last night Orlando took a 103-97 team victory in Toronto over the Raptors. It was a win built on solid defence and targeting the opposition vulnerabilities as the Magic played with pace. Every player who took to the court brought a solid contribution.
Cole Anthony led the team with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds, that he supplemented with 5 assists. Jalen Suggs also had 15 points scored, with 6 rebounds, 7 assists, a block and a steal. Franz Wagner got 11 points for his 54th double figure scoring game in 64 played. Mo Bamba again produced great energy and determination to get 14 points. Chuma Okeke also secured a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds as he started. RJ Hampton had a solid 11 points from the bench, as did Gary Harris.
After that win Orlando now holds a record of 16 wins and 48 losses, which still sees us last in the Eastern Conference. Houston now holds the worst record in the NBA, by virtue of having played a game less (15-48). Over the last 10 games played the Magic have won 4. The home record stands at 7 wins of 29 games played. On the road it is 9 wins in 35 played for the Magic. Points per game sees the Magic scoring 104 whilst conceding 111.7.
The Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis last played on the road in Boston, losing 107-120 to the Celtics. Ja Morant had 38 points and 7 assists. He again led the team with a stellar performance. Jaren Jackson Jr followed with a 20 points and Desmond Bane 17.
Memphis have a record of 43 wins and 21 losses, which puts them 3rd in the Western Conference. Of the last 10 games played they have won 7. Their home record stands at 21 wins of 31 games played. In points per game the Grizzlies score 113.8 whilst conceding 109.2, rating 6th on offence and 8th defensively.
Head-To-Head – The Memphis Grizzlies
In 50 regular season games played the score stands level at 25-25.
The Grizzlies won the first meeting of the season on February 5th by 135-115 at the Amway Center. Ja Morant erupted for 33 points, whilst Jaren Jackson Jr had 21 points. Cole Anthony led the Magic with 22 points and Jalen Suggs scored 17.
Last season was split 1-1, each team winning on home court.
Orlando saw success by sweeping the series 2-0 the previous season. The Magic have won 7 of last the 10 games played. A Magic win on April 3rd 2016 broke a 9 game winning streak for Memphis.
These two teams have never met in the playoffs.
Our Opponents – The Memphis Grizzlies
It is only a month ago that Magic fans saw what Memphis can offer and it is good to watch.
Led by the young duo of All-Star Ja Morant and second year Desmond Bane the Grizzlies are perhaps the surprise team in the West. Coach Taylor Jenkins has been putting together a good record of wins built on fast paced attacking basketball. They do not shoot the three a lot but attack the paint, ranking number one in field goals attempted. They are also top rated for total and offensive rebounds, steals and blocks made. And don’t expect them to turn the ball over a lot either!
Starting Unit – Ja Morant (PG), Desmond Bane (SG), Jaren Jackson Jr (SF), Ziaire Williams (PF), Steven Adams (C)
Bench Unit – Brandon Clarke, De’Anthony Melton, Kyle Anderson, Tyus Jones, John Konchar, Jarrett Culver (DNP), Xavier Tilman (DNP), Killian Tillie (DNP), Santie Aldama (DNP)
Injury Report – Dillon Brooks is again absent through injury, as is Yves Pons. Kyle Anderson is questionable.
The Orlando Magic Lineup And Injury Report
Coach Jamahl Mosely will possibly be shuffling the pack further tonight. Wendell Carter Jr has a non-Covid illness and is out again. Jonathan Isaac (rehabilitation of surgically repaired left knee) and Bol Bol (out for the season after surgery to a foot injury) are again absent. The addition to the list is Jalen Suggs who is questionable with a right ankle sprain.
Final Thoughts On The Back-To-Back In Memphis As Orlando Face The Grizzlies
Again many will see this as a mission impossible for Orlando. The Magic will face the same style of play as last night against Toronto, just better executed.
The loss of Carter Jr for Orlando is huge against a team so adept at rebounding. Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr are exceptional rebounders, ranking amongst the NBA’s elite. Jackson Jr also leads the league in blocks, part of the reason he is in consideration for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Ja Morant is in the conversation for MVP. He is a walking highlight reel and sits top 10 in the NBA for total points and points per game at 27.8. He leads the team in points, points per game, assists, along with free throws attempted and made.
Every game since All-Star weekend has seen Orlando score across the team. Against Toronto seven players made double-digit contributions. The Magic also turned the ball over only 11 times throughout the match. When considering that the Raptors rank second in the league at forcing opponent turnovers this was a significant achievement. Tonight will require that same focus in all facets of the game.
The second night of a back-to-back in Memphis as Orlando face the Grizzlies is not an easy ask. orlando will fight and aim again to show how they have grown over the season.
Let’s Go Magic!