Charlotte visit the Amway on Game Day 17 and 18 as the Orlando Magic take on the Hornets in a back-to-back.
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 shown on the NBA app and Orlando Magic website as being a 12:00 midnight here in the UK (7pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
THE MATCHUP AS CHARLOTTE VISIT THE AMWAY
Charlotte are on a 4 game losing streak. They no injury absences to affect their rotations. Last time out on Friday night the Hornets lost at home to Chicago by 124-110. Charlotte sit 13th in the Eastern Conference.
Orlando broke a 6 game losing streak on Wednesday night. Unfortunately on Friday the Magic fell short in Indianapolis. Orlando had chances to win but in overtime the Pacers ran out winners by 118-120. Orlando dropped to 10th in the Eastern Conference. The Magic still have issues around injury and rotations.
The Hornets have won 3 of 8 games on the road this season. Orlando are 3-3 at home in the Amway. Season records see Orlando at 7-9, whilst Charlotte are 5-9. Across the last 10 games that each team has played the Hornets have a 4-6, whilst Orlando are 3-7.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE CHARLOTTE HORNETS
Charlotte come into the game as the NBA’s 22nd ranked offensive team, 11th defensively. They score an average of 107.8 points per game, conceding 109.1.
Offensively they play at a reasonable pace. They shoot 44.8% from the field and 35.8% from the 3, both better statistics than the Magic. Defensively they have very active hands, rating highly for blocks and steals. However they turn the ball over and foul at a very high rate.
They are a developing team having undergone changes in the offseason. As yet they have not hit the potential many pundits believed they would.
THE CHARLOTTE HORNETS SQUAD
Against Chicago they started Devonte’ Graham (13.3 PPG), Terry Rozier (19.3 PPG), Gordon Hayward (23.1 PPG), PJ Washington (13.1 PPG) and Bismarck Biyombo (7.5 PPG).
From the bench came LaMelo Ball (11.5 PPG), Caleb Martin (6.3 PPG), Cody Zeller (5.5 PPG), Miles Bridges (8.8 PPG). Players who did not feature include Malik Monk (3.3 PPG), Jalen McDaniels (3.9 PPG) and Cody Martin (3.5 PPG).
According to ESPN there are no injury issues.
THE HEAD-TO-HEAD: CHARLOTTE HORNETS
History is very tight in this matchup. The all time head-to-head record in the 107 regular season games played sees the Magic ahead by 54-53. Last season Orlando swept the shortened series 2-0, both on the road. On January 20th 2020 Orlando won 106-83, following it up on February 3rd 112-100.
Orlando are on run of having won the last 4 competitive meetings.
The teams have met twice in the playoffs. The record is 1-1 in series and 5-3 in games to Orlando. Charlotte took the 2002 first round meeting 1-3. Orlando took a 4-0 win in the 2010 Eastern Conference first round playoff meeting.
The teams met in the Amway in preseason, splitting the two games 1-1.
THE MAGIC INJURY REPORT
There appears to be a positive change to the injury report as I write. The squad of 17 is now standing at 12 fit players. According to ESPN:
Markelle Fultz (12.9 PPG) has a torn left knee ACL, a season finishing injury. He has now undergone surgery.
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. His absence was estimated by the team on December 31st as being 3-4 weeks.
Michael Carter-Williams (5.1 PPG) is shown as out with a sore foot. However he is now involved in non-contact practices.
Al-Farouq Aminu is out after recovering from knee surgery. However he is involved in non-contact practices.
Mo Bamba (5 PPG) is no longer listed on the injury report and could feature. His absence from the road trip was due to NBA COVID protocols, Mo being subject of non-team contact tracing.
THE LINE-UP AS CHARLOTTE VISIT THE AMWAY
Coach Clifford is likely to remain with the starting unit seen against the Pacers.
Last time out Orlando’s starting unit was Cole Anthony (10.2 PPG), Evan Fournier (17.7 PPG), Aaron Gordon (14.9 PPG), James Ennis III (4.7 PPG) and Nikola Vucevic (23.3 PPG).
From the bench came Terrence Ross (15.5 PPG), Khem Birch (7.1 PPG), Dwayne Bacon (9.3 PPG) and Gary Clark (2.5 PPG). Jordan Bone (4.7 PPG) and Karim Mane (1.2 PPG) were available but did not feature.
As written above Mo Bamba (5 PPG) is no longer listed on the injury report and could feature.
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDING – 10th
SEASON RECORD – 7-9
HOME RECORD – 3-3
ROAD RECORD – 4-6
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 – 27TH OF 30 (105.2)
NBA DEFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 18TH OF 30 (110.7)
OPPONENTS POINTS PER GAME – 13TH OF 30 (110.4)
RECORD WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 100 POINTS – 1-7
WHEN SCORING MORE THAN 100 POINTS – 6-2
WHEN SCORING 110 POINTS OR MORE – 4-2
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 – 1-5
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
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KEYS TO THE GAME AS CHARLOTTE VISIT THE AMWAY
This two game matchup as Charlotte visit the Amway is a tough one. That is despite the under performance in the season as yet by the Hornets. A win is far from certain on either night. Coach Clifford is on record saying the same team is difficult to beat on such close meetings. This will be the 4th time in the season Orlando face the same team in close succession. The Magic won both over the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers. Against Oklahoma City Thunder the games were split 1-1.
Orlando were more effective shooting the three ball against Indiana, hitting 45.9%. Charlotte appear to be vulnerable to scoring in the paint. Orlando will need to see Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier continue their strong offensive play. The more who can step up to help them the better.
The Hornets have threats from many positions. Controlling the efforts of Hayward, Rozier and Graham is a must for Orlando to win. They are not the only threats so again defensive discipline and focus is a must for Orlando.
Orlando will be aiming to start the home stand on a positive note. To do so would see team’s improved confidence grow again as they begin to find their stride again. As Charlotte visit the Amway these games provide a strong opportunity to add two wins to the season tally and return to the .500 mark.
WE BELIEVE IN OUR TEAM!
LET’S GO MAGIC!