Charlotte again face Orlando tonight in the Amway on Game Day 18 on the second night of a back-to-back, as the Magic look to bounce back from defeat.
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 AGAIN FACE ORLANDO
Charlotte were on a 4 game losing streak but ended that last night. They again have no injury absences to affect their rotations. Charlotte sit 11th in the Eastern Conference.
Orlando broke a 6 game losing streak on Wednesday night. Unfortunately on Friday the Magic fell short in Indianapolis and grabbed defeat again against the Hornets. Orlando are 12th in the Eastern Conference. The Magic still have issues around injury and rotations.
The Hornets have won 4 of 9 games on the road this season. Orlando are 3-4 at home in the Amway. Season records see Orlando at 7-10, whilst Charlotte are 7-9. Across the last 10 games that each team has played the Hornets have a 5-5 record, whilst Orlando are worryingly at 2-8.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE CHARLOTTE HORNETS
Charlotte come into the game as the NBA’s 20th ranked offensive team, 12th defensively. They score an average of 107.8 points per game, conceding 108.3.
Offensively they play at a reasonable pace, prompted by an active defensive style. They shoot 45% from the field and 36% from the 3, both better statistics than the Magic. Defensively they have very active hands, rating highly for blocks and steals as we saw last night. 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
Last night they started Devonte’ Graham (13.4 PPG), Terry Rozier (18.5 PPG), Gordon Hayward (24.1 PPG), PJ Washington (12.9 PPG) and Bismarck Biyombo (7.1 PPG).
From the bench came LaMelo Ball (11.4 PPG), Caleb Martin (6 PPG), Cody Zeller (5 PPG), Miles Bridges (9.4 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 108 regular season games played sees the record tied 54-54. 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 were on a 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 11 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.
Aaron Gordon (14.9 PPG) did not play last night through a sore hip and back. There is no update at the moment if he will feature.
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 AGAIN FACE ORLANDO
Coach Clifford is likely to remain with the starting unit seen against the Pacers.
Last night Orlando’s starting unit was Cole Anthony (10.4 PPG), Evan Fournier (18.1 PPG), Gary Clark (3.4 PPG), James Ennis III (5 PPG) and Nikola Vucevic (23.2 PPG).
From the bench came Terrence Ross (15.2 PPG), Khem Birch (7 PPG), Dwayne Bacon (8.9 PPG) and Jordan Bone (5 PPG). Karim Mane (1.2 PPG) was available but did not feature.
As written above Mo Bamba (5 PPG) and Aaron Gordon (14.9 PPG) could possibly feature.
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDING – 12th
SEASON RECORD – 7-10
HOME RECORD – 3-4
ROAD RECORD – 4-6
RECORD LEADING AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER – 3-2
WHEN LEADING AT HALF TIME – 6-1
AND WHEN LEADING GOING INTO THE FOURTH QUARTER – 4-1
NBA OFFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 27TH OF 30 (105.4)
NBA DEFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 19TH OF 30 (110.2)
OPPONENTS POINTS PER GAME – 12TH OF 30 (110.2)
RECORD WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 100 POINTS – 1-7
WHEN SCORING MORE THAN 100 POINTS – 6-3
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 – 5-2
AND WHEN CONCEDING 120 POINTS OR LESS – 7-5
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
Check out our podcast Penny For Your Thoughts !
In the latest episode we are joined by Philip Rossman-Reich, Site Editor for Orlando Magic Daily and host of the Locked On Magic Podcast to recap a frustrating loss to the New York Knicks, a buzzer beater by Cole Anthony and a close loss to the Pacers. Plus we discuss Philip’s Fulham fandom, how he started covering the Orlando Magic plus his favourite memories.
All episodes of the podcast are available on the following platforms:
Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/penny-for-your-thoughts/id1539159864
Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8zMjJhNGJiYy9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==
Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/yj2cmpgs
Please subscribe and set your notifications for alerts when new episodes are released.
Keep an eye out each game day across our social media platforms on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for our match day game Magic MOments where we ask you to predict the outcome of 5 questions we pose. All you have to do is comment.
KEYS TO THE GAME AS CHARLOTTE AGAIN FACE ORLANDO
The game tonight as Charlotte again face Orlando in the Amway is another tough one. Orlando successfully self destructed in the 4th quarter last night. The team have to find a way to hold onto leads and not have these lengthy barren spells on offense.
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.
Charlotte appeared to be vulnerable to scoring in the paint last night and this created some good open opportunities from deep. Orlando will need to see Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier continue their strong offensive play. The more who can consistently 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. Hayward was superb for 39 points last night. They are not the only threats so again defensive discipline and focus is a must for Orlando.
Orlando must now get a win. The Magic have already missed one opportunity to move back towards the .500 mark and can afford no further errors. Tonight is an opportunity to right some wrongs from last night as Charlotte again face Orlando.
WE BELIEVE IN OUR TEAM!
LET’S GO MAGIC!