The Madison Square Garden awaits the Orlando Magic for Game Day 14 in an early tip off against the New York Knicks on Martin Luther King Day.
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 New York is a super friendly 5pm here in the UK (12 noon Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
THE MATCHUP AS MADISON SQUARE GARDEN AWAITS
New York are on the second game of a back-to-back.
Orlando are now on a 5 game losing streak. Orlando still have issues around injury and rotations. These again could impact heavily on the chances of victory.
The Knicks were on a 5 game losing streak. Last night they mauled the Boston Celtics 105-75 and now sit 9th in the Eastern Conference. Orlando remain 6th.
New York have won 2 of 6 games in their home arena this season. Orlando are 3-4 on the road. Season records see Orlando at 6-7, whilst the Knicks are 6-8.
In the last game Orlando gave a determined effort on second night of a back-to-back. The Magic lost in Brooklyn 115-122.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE NEW YORK KNICKS
Last season saw the Knicks finish with 21-45 record, being 12th in the Eastern Conference. As a result they fired Coach David Fizdale and brought in Coach Tom Thibodeau
They come into the game as the NBA’s 28th ranked offensive team, 19th defensively. They are playing with intensity and don’t give up too many points, ranking 5th for opponents points per game.
Offensively they shoot around 35% from the 3, but are scoring an average of only 101 points per game.
THE NEW YORK KNICKS SQUAD
Last night they started Julius Randle (22.9 PPG), RJ Barrett (16.8 PPG), Reggie Bullock (8.3 PPG), Elfrid Payton (13.2 PPG) and Mitchell Robinson (8.6 PPG).
From the bench came Nerlens Noel (3.2 PPG), Obi Toppin (5.8 PPG), Austin Rivers (9.4 PPG) Kevin Knox (7.8 PPG) , Dennis Smith Jr (3 PPG), Immanuel Quickley (9.9 PPG) and Theo Pinson (0 PPG).
According to ESPN their only injury issues are to Alec Burks (20.7 PPG) who is day-to-day with an ankle issue and Frank Ntilikina (4.5 PPG). He is a week away from practice with a knee injury and is out.
THE HEAD-TO-HEAD: NEW YORK KNICKS
Orlando played the Knicks twice last season splitting the series 1-1. In the Amway on October 30th 2019, Orlando won by 85-93. Then on February 6th the Knicks took a surprise win 103-105 in the Gardens.
Across the 116 regular season games played the Magic lead 60-56. Since season 2015-16, in the 18 games played Orlando have 11 wins.
The teams have never met in the playoffs.
THE MAGIC INJURY REPORT
There appears to be no 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 AS MADISON SQUARE GARDEN AWAITS
Coach Clifford is likely to remain with a settled starting unit.
Last time out Orlando’s starting unit was Cole Anthony (10.4PPG), Dwayne Bacon (9.8 PPG), Aaron Gordon (14.7 PPG), James Ennis III (3.8 PPG) and Nikola Vucevic (22.8 PPG).
From the bench can come Terrence Ross (16.2 PPG), Khem Birch (7.8 PPG), Gary Clark (3.3 PPG), Jordan Bone (4.6 PPG) and Karim Mane (1.2 PPG).
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDING – 6th
SEASON RECORD – 6-7
HOME RECORD – 3-3
ROAD RECORD – 3-4
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 (105.8)
NBA DEFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 21ST OF 30 (111.9)
OPPONENTS POINTS PER GAME – 20TH OF 30 (112.2)
RECORD WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 100 POINTS – 0-6
WHEN SCORING MORE THAN 100 POINTS – 6-1
WHEN SCORING 110 POINTS OR MORE – 4-1
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 – 1-4
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 are joined by former Orlando Magic player and current Colour Commentator for Fox Sports Florida Jeff Turner. We discuss the losing streak, injuries, being a part of the famous 1984 NBA Draft that included Michael Jordan, winning a gold medal with Team USA in the 1984 Olympics, the brawl in LA and much, much more.
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KEYS TO THE GAMES AS MADISON SQUARE GARDEN AWAITS
Coach Clifford will know this game is not a given win. Between the injuries Orlando have and the determined, hard play of the Knicks this will be tough. New York are on the second night of a back-to-back having travelled back from Boston. Tiredness and the early tip could therefore become a factor.
Orlando had been nose diving in every category of the stats. The Boston performance did slow that. So far one big indicator for success has been the half time score. Lead and we win, trail and we lose! Orlando scoring is also key, hit less than 100 points and we likely lose.
The Magic have to find a way to be more effective both shooting and defending the three ball. Last night in Boston there was a 30 point difference, a game lost by 27 points. In Dallas there was a 42 point difference, a game Orlando lost by 14. That amount of points is hard to overcome.
Orlando players are seeing their fitness tested. Limited rotations are seeing big minutes for the 10 fit players. Nikola Vucevic is playing at an incredible level. If we see others step up again our chances are good.
If the team can get it click again as in Boston a win is achievable. There are no easy games in the NBA and this season is an example of that with many surprises results.
WE BELIEVE IN OUR TEAM!
LET’S GO MAGIC!