Building a Magic win streak on Game Day 16 in Indianapolis against the Indiana Pacers is the aim after Orlando’s dramatic win over Minnesota.
To watch the game live or on demand here in the UK you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.
The tip time is 12:00 midnight here in the UK (7pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
THE MATCHUP FOR BUILDING A MAGIC WIN
Indiana are on a 2 game losing streak. They have absences to key players and are adapting to trading Victor Oladipo. Last time out on Wednesday night the Pacers lost at home to Dallas by 124-112. Indiana now sit 4th in the Eastern Conference.
Orlando broke a 6 game losing streak on Wednesday night, but remain 9th in the Eastern Conference. The Magic still have issues around injury and rotations. The return of Evan Fournier to the starting line-up was a boost in the last outing for Orlando, an improbable 20 point comeback 97-96 buzzer beating win on the road at the Minnesota Timberwolves .
The Pacers have won 4 of 8 games in their home arena this season. Orlando are 4-5 on the road. Season records see Orlando at 7-8, whilst the Pacers are 8-6. Across the last 10 games each team has played Indiana are 5-5, whilst Orlando are 3-7.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE INDIANA PACERS
Indiana come into the game as the NBA’s 10th ranked offensive team, 13th defensively. They are 9th for field goal percentage, 11th in points per game, 12th in blocks per game and 3rd in steals per game.
Offensively they play at a decent pace, ranking 13th. They shoot 35.6% from the 3, scoring an average of 112.9 points per game.
All of these statistics rate better than Orlando.
They are a good team, bigger than their individual players. Coach Nate Bjorkgren has them better organised defensively without having given up too much offensive potency.
THE INDIANA PACERS SQUAD
Against Dallas they started Domantas Sabonis (21.9 PPG), Justin Holiday (10.9 PPG), Malcolm Brogdan (22.5 PPG), Doug McDermott (12.9 PPG) and Edmond Sumner (6.7 PPG).
From the bench came Aaron Holiday (6.4 PPG), TJ McConnell (3.5 PPG), Jeremy Lamb (10 PPG) JaKarr Sampson (2.5 PPG), Kelan Martin (1 PPG) and Cassius Stanley (1.3 PPG).
According to ESPN their injury issues are of impact. Myles Turner (12.4 PPG) is questionable with a hand issue. Newly acquired Caris LeVert (18.5 PPG) is ruled out indefinitely, likely requiring surgery on a mass on his left kidney. TJ Warren (15.5 PPG) is out indefinitely after foot surgery.
THE HEAD-TO-HEAD: INDIANA PACERS
History is against Orlando on this one. The all time head-to-head record in the 113 regular season games played sees the Magic trailing by 49-64. Last season Indiana swept the series 3-0 in competitive games. The most recent game was in the NBA Bubble with the Pacers taking it 109-120, TJ Warren going for 32!
The teams have met 3 times in the playoffs. The record is 1-2 for the Pacers in series and 5-10 in games. The Pacers took both the 1994 (0-3) and 2012 (1-4) first round meetings. Orlando took a famous 4-3 win in the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals.
THE MAGIC INJURY REPORT
There appears a little change again to the injury report as I write. The squad of 17 is now standing at 11 fit players but there is an improvement in others. 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 shown as out with a sore foot. However he is now involved in non-contact practices and his status has improved to questionable for tonight.
Al-Farouq Aminu is out after recovering from knee surgery. However he is involved in non-contact practices.
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 LINE-UP BUILDING A MAGIC WIN
Coach Clifford is likely to remain with the starting unit seen against the Timberwolves.
Last time out Orlando’s starting unit was Cole Anthony (10.3 PPG), Evan Fournier (16.3 PPG), Aaron Gordon (14.8 PPG), James Ennis III (4.1 PPG) and Nikola Vucevic (23.3 PPG).
From the bench came Terrence Ross (15.8 PPG), Khem Birch (7.3 PPG), Dwayne Bacon (8.9 PPG) and Gary Clark (2.8 PPG). Jordan Bone (4.7 PPG) and Karim Mane (1.2 PPG) were available but did not feature.
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDING – 9th
SEASON RECORD – 7-8
HOME RECORD – 3-3
ROAD RECORD – 4-5
RECORD LEADING AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER – 3-1
WHEN LEADING AT HALF TIME – 6-0
AND WHEN LEADING GOING INTO THE FOURTH QUARTER – 4-0
NBA OFFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 28TH OF 30 (104.5)
NBA DEFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 18TH OF 30 (110.2)
OPPONENTS POINTS PER GAME – 11TH OF 30 (109.7)
RECORD WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 100 POINTS – 1-7
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 – 3-1
WHEN CONCEDING 110 POINTS OR LESS – 5-1
AND WHEN CONCEDING 120 POINTS OR LESS – 7-4
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 – 84 – GAME DAY 14 NEW YORK KNICKS
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.
All episodes of the podcast are available on the following platforms:
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KEYS TO THE GAMES FOR BUILDING A MAGIC WIN
This game is a tough one and far from a certain win.
Coach Clifford will know that despite breaking the losing streak Orlando did not play well for long stretches in our last game. The offence misfired for periods and saw only 10 points scored in the second quarter.
The Magic still need to find a way to be more effective both shooting and defending the three ball. 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. Minnesota hit 5 more from beyond the arc than Orlando, a game the Magic won by a single point.
Both teams have key players out injured. Orlando’s offence has been devastated by the loss of Markelle Fultz. It has affected the pace and sees Aaron Gordon playing point at times, learning on the job. The Pacers are adapting to being without Oladipo.
The Pacers have threats from many positions and their depth could be decisive. They have players who can have a night. Brogdan and Sabonis are not the only threats to Orlando. Defensive discipline and focus is a must for Orlando.
Again it is true to say that the Orlando players are seeing their fitness tested. Limited rotations are resulting in big minutes for the fit players.
Orlando will be aiming to end this road trip with a second successive win. To do so would see team confidence grow from the recent adversity faced. Tonight is a night for building a Magic win streak!
WE BELIEVE IN OUR TEAM!
LET’S GO MAGIC!