A visit to Boston to face the Celtics awaits the Orlando Magic for Game Day 12 against a backdrop of injury and COVID protocols.
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 Boston for tonight is 12:30am here in the UK (7:30pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
THE MATCHUP FOR A VISIT TO BOSTON
With both teams having issues with absence what would have been a difficult trip for Orlando could be made somewhat easier. The Celtics are decimated by COVID cases and protocols, leaving them very limited options. It would be dangerous to underestimate their ability and spirit.
Here I would normally write about how Boston try to play the game but at this point they are making it up as they go along. The only thing for certain is that they will fight hard for everything. That is the Boston way and what their fans expect!
With the issues Orlando have faced around injury any chance of victory will be grabbed gratefully.
Orlando are on a three game losing streak, whilst Boston have won their last 4 outings.
Last time out Orlando had a spirited performance against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Amway. They eventually lost 99-121 as the Bucks pulled away in the 4th. The Magic were again led by Nikola Vucevic with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists, his 8th double-double of the season.
OUR OPPONENTS – BOSTON CELTICS
Last season saw Boston finish with 48-24 record, being 3rd in the Eastern Conference. They were eliminated in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals 2-4 by the Miami Heat.
The Celtics last three games have been postponed.
They come into the game as the NBA’s 11th ranked offensive team, 22nd defensively. Boston are sitting top in the East with a 7-3 record.
THE BOSTON CELTICS SQUAD
Coach Brad Stevens has a wealth of talent, unfortunately for the C’s most of it is prohibited from playing!
Available to play the Celtics have 9 players. These are: Tristan Thompson (8.4 PPG), Grant Williams (5.6 PPG), Tacko Fall (3 PPG), Aaron Nesmith (2.7 PPG), Payton Pritchard (8.6 PPG), Marcus Smart (12.2 PPG), Jeff Teague (7 PPG), Tremont Waters (3 PPG) and Grant Williams (5.6 PPG).
Questionable for tonight through COVID protocols are Semi Ojeleye (6 PPG), Javonte Green (5.3 PPG), Daniel Theis (7.4 PPG) and Jaylen Brown (26.3 PPG).
Injured and out are Romeo Langford (0 PPG) and Kemba Walker (0 PPG).
Out through COVID protocols are Carsen Edwards (3.3 PPG), Robert Williams (6.8 PPG) and Jayson Tatum (26.9 PPG).
THE HEAD-TO-HEAD: BOSTON CELTICS
The head-to-head record sees the Celtics leading 66-51 in the 117 regular season games played.
Last season saw the Magic swept 3-0 by Boston This was a marked turnaround from the 2018-19 season when Orlando swept Boston 3-0.
In playoffs the Celtics and Magic have met in 17 games, Orlando being up 9-8. In 2010 the Celtics won 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals. 2009 saw Orlando win the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, taking the series 4-3. In 1995 Orlando had won the series 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs.
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 out with a sore foot.
Evan Fournier (14.8 PPG) is listed as out for tonight with the back spasm issue.
Al-Farouq Aminu is out indefinitely recovering from knee surgery.
Mo Bamba (5 PPG) is out of tonight’s game having not travelled with the team. This is due to NBA COVID protocols, Mo being subject of non-team contact tracing. His upcoming availability will be decided by the league.
THE MAGIC LINE-UP FOR A VISIT TO BOSTON
Coach Clifford is likely to remain with a settled starting unit.
Last time out Orlando’s starting unit was Cole Anthony (9.5 PPG), Dwayne Bacon (9.3 PPG), Aaron Gordon (14.8 PPG), James Ennis III (4.8 PPG) and Nikola Vucevic (22.5 PPG).
From the bench can come Terrence Ross (16.5 PPG), Khem Birch (7.4 PPG), Gary Clark (2.5 PPG), Jordan Bone (4.7 PPG) and Karim Mane (0.8 PPG).
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDING – 5th
SEASON RECORD – 6-5
HOME RECORD – 3-3
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 – 26TH OF 30 (105.9)
NBA DEFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 14TH OF 30 (110.1)
OPPONENTS POINTS PER GAME – 13TH OF 30 (110.3)
RECORD WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 100 POINTS – 0-5
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 – 1-2
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 FOR A VISIT TO BOSTON
Coach Clifford had some practice opportunity as a result of the game postponement on Wednesday. Could that have helped the Magic with rotation development for a visit to Boston?
We hate to say it but you can never bet against the Celtics! They are a team of grit, built with quality in all positions and are well coached. Tonight however their options are limited and that will impact.
Orlando come into the game with injuries but at least we have players in their natural positions. Nikola Vucevic could see big numbers against an undermanned opposition.
Orlando need to turn up, approach the game as a well prepared team, ready to play. Play the fundamentals of the game well and Orlando could get back to winning ways tonight.
Orlando can not afford to take a night off, Boston certainly won’t!
WE BELIEVE IN OUR TEAM!
LET’S GO MAGIC!