Game day 11 sees the Milwaukee Bucks come to Orlando to face the Magic. This game is a first meeting since the 2020 Eastern Conference Playoff first round, which the Bucks took 4-1.
To watch the game live or on demand here in the UK you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.
The tip time from Orlando is 12:00 midnight here in the UK (7pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando)
THE MATCHUP AS THE BUCKS COME TO ORLANDO
At this moment any win for the Magic will be grabbed gratefully.
Firstly; for the Orlando Magic injury is again a huge factor. More about that later but there does not appear to be any improved news as I write.
Then as we look ahead the schedule ahead for Orlando is a tough one for a time. After tonight’s return to the Amway to take on the Bucks the Magic take a 6 game road trip. That trip sees games in Boston twice, Brooklyn, New York, Minnesota and Indiana.
As the Bucks come to the Amway they have almost no issues around health. There is a question around the twice reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. If he fails to make the game through a back issue they have quality and some over.
Milwaukee play hard on defending the paint, allowing the opposition to shoot three’s. In the 2020 playoffs Milwaukee almost sat back and dared the Magic to shoot from deep. They have active hands on D, getting a lot of steals. This helps their offence play at the fastest pace in the NBA.
Orlando are on a two game losing streak, whilst Milwaukee won their last outing. Both teams have a season record of 6-4.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE BUCKS COME TO ORLANDO
Last season saw the Bucks have record 56-17, finishing 1st in Eastern Conference. They were eliminated in NBA Eastern Conference Semi-finals 1-4 by Miami Heat.
They come into the game as the number one NBA Offensive team, 12th defensively. Sitting 5th in the East with a 6-4 record a win will see them leapfrog Orlando.
By getting Giannis committed in the offseason and adding Jrue Holiday the Bucks are definitely in a win now mode. They are seeking home court advantage once the playoffs come around. Whilst this is likely the Bucks have something to prove beyond that point.
THE MILWAUKEE BUCKS SQUAD
Coach Mike Budenholzer has a wealth of talent.
In Giannis Antetokounmpo the Bucks have the current NBA MVP. He is a dominant force for them scoring 27.1 points, 10.6 rebounds & 5.2 assists per game. He did miss the win over Cleveland on Saturday and is probable for tonight.
Coach Mike Budenholzer started Jrue Holiday (15 PPG), Donte DiVincenzo (11.2 PPG), Khris Middleton (22.7 PPG), Brook Lopez (9.5 PPG) and Bobby Portis (11 PPG) in that game.
From the bench comes DJ Augustin (5.8 PPG), DJ Wilson (4.7 PPG), Bryn Forbes (7.1 PPG), Thanasis Antetokounmpo (2.8 PPG) and Pat Connaughton (6.3 PPG).
There are no injury concerns for Coach Budenholzer beyond that to Torey Craig who is out.
THE HEAD-TO-HEAD: MILWAUKEE BUCKS
The teams met 4 times in the regular season of 2019-20 with the Milwaukee Bucks winning them all. Across those four games the Milwaukee Bucks defence prevailed, restricting the Magic field goal percentage each time to around 37 or 38%.
The previous season also saw Orlando lose a 3 game series 1-2. The head-to-head record in the 114 regular season games played sees the Bucks leading 61-53.
In playoffs the Bucks and Magic have met twice. In 2001 the Bucks won 3-1. 2020 saw Milwaukee again win, taking the series with a gentleman’s sweep 4-1.
THE MAGIC INJURY REPORT
There appears to be little change to the injury report as I write this. As a Magic fan it is not pleasant reading to see a squad of 17 reduced to 10 fit players. According to ESPN:
Markelle Fultz (12.9 PPG) has a torn left knee ACL, a season finishing injury.
Jonathan Isaac is out indefinitely recovering from knee surgery.
Chum Okeke (3 PPG) is still absent from the rotations for multiple weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee.
Michael Carter-Williams (5.1 PPG) is day-to-day with a sore foot.
Evan Fournier (14.8 PPG) is listed as questionable for tonight with the back spasm issue.
Mo Bamba (4 PPG) is day-to-day with a back injury.
Al-Farouq Aminu is out indefinitely recovering from knee surgery.
THE MAGIC LINE-UP
Coach Clifford must wait to see who is available after team practice before naming a starting line-up. It could be we see someone from the injury report return.
Last time out Orlando’s starting unit was Cole Anthony (9.2 PPG), Dwayne Bacon (9.1 PPG), Aaron Gordon (14.1 PPG), James Ennis III (5.3 PPG) and Nikola Vucevic (22 PPG).
From the bench can come Terrence Ross (17.9 PPG), Khem Birch (7.9 PPG), Gary Clark (2.6 PPG), Jordan Bone (4 PPG) and Karim Mane (1 PPG).
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDING – 4th
SEASON RECORD – 6-4
HOME RECORD – 3-2
ROAD RECORD – 3-2
RECORD LEADING AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER – 2-1
WHEN LEADING AT HALF TIME – 6-0
AND WHEN LEADING GOING INTO THE FOURTH QUARTER – 4-0
NBA OFFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 24TH OF 30 (106.5)
NBA DEFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 15TH OF 30 (108.9)
OPPONENTS POINTS PER GAME – 10TH OF 30 (109.2)
RECORD WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 100 POINTS – 0-4
WHEN SCORING MORE THAN 100 POINTS – 6-0
WHEN SCORING 110 POINTS OR MORE – 4-0
AND WHEN SCORING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 2-0
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 100 POINTS OR LESS – 2-0
WHEN CONCEDING 110 POINTS OR LESS – 4-1
AND WHEN CONCEDING 120 POINTS OR LESS – 6-4
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 1-1
LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY – 20 – GAME DAY 7 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT – 42 – GAME DAY 9 HOUSTON ROCKETS
HIGHEST POINTS SCORED THIS SEASON – 130 – GAME DAY 2 VS WASHINGTON WIZARDS
LEAST POINTS SCORED THIS SEASON – 90 – GAME DAY 9 HOUSTON ROCKETS
MOST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 132 – GAME DAY 9 HOUSTON ROCKETS
LEAST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 83 – GAME DAY 7 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
Check out our podcast Penny For Your Thoughts !
In the latest episode we review what has been a tough week for the Orlando Magic. From losing Markelle Fultz to a season ending knee injury to a couple of losses to the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. Paul, Geraint and Mikey are joined by UK Magic fan Ross Midlane to discuss whether the Orlando Magic are a cursed franchise. We look ahead to the upcoming games and do the Magic need to find help at the point guard position.
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KEYS TO THE GAMES AS THE BUCKS COME TO ORLANDO
Looking at the Bucks on offence and they are an offensive juggernaut both in the paint and from the 3. Defensively they pack the paint and dare teams to shoot the 3.
Let’s make no pretence about this one. It is a huge ask for Orlando tonight, but stranger things have happened in the NBA. Injury conspires against the team, leaving us heavily undermanned to face one of the pre-season favourites.
To win Orlando will need to be better both defensively against the 3 ball and shooting from deep. Shots from beyond the arc have been dropping with alarming regularity and was the difference in the Dallas defeat.
LET’S GO MAGIC!