The Orlando Magic welcome Sacramento to the Amway tonight. Orlando will be looking to build on the positive shoots of growth on offense against a defensively weak Kings team.
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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 THE MAGIC WELCOME SACRAMENTO
Sacramento were on a 4 game losing streak but ended that when they last played on Friday 22nd January. In that game on home court the Kings beat the New York Knicks 94-103. Sacramento sit 13th in the Western Conference.
Orlando picked up a much needed confidence boosting win on Monday night, 108-117 over the Charlotte Hornets. That win saw Orlando improve from 12th to 8th in the Eastern Conference.
The Kings have won 1 of 5 games on the road this season. Orlando are 4-4 at home in the Amway. Season records see Orlando at 8-10, whilst Sacramento are 6-10. Across the last 10 games that each team has played the Kings have a 3-7 record, whilst Orlando are worryingly at 2-8.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE SACRAMENTO KINGS
Sacramento come into the game as the NBA’s 12th ranked offensive team, scoring an average of 112.4 points per game. The Kings are ranked last defensively at 30th, conceding 121.1 points per game. That one stat tells you everything you need to know about the Kings struggles.
Offensively they play at a decent pace. They shoot almost 47% from the field and 37.3% from the 3. Defensively they rate highly for blocks. They concede in equal measure from both the paint and beyond the arc. However they turn the ball over at a low rate, almost identical to that of Orlando per game. They commit on average 20+ fouls per game.
THE SACRAMENTO KINGS SQUAD
Last time out they started De’Aaron Fox (20.9 PPG), Richaun Holmes (13.3 PPG), Harrison Barnes (15.9 PPG), Marvin Bagley III (13.3 PPG) and Buddy Hield (14.9 PPG).
From the bench came Cory Joseph (6.5 PPG), Tyrese Haliburton (11.4 PPG), Glenn Robinson III (7.1 PPG), Chimezie Mutu (4.7 PPG). Jabari Parker (0 PPG) has not yet featured this season. He is an option from the bench having been absent from the rotations through COVID protocols.
According to ESPN the Kings have some injury issues. Hassan Whiteside (6.4 PPG) (hip) has been out. Whiteside is listed as day-to-day but has said he feels ready to return. Nemanja Bjelica (6.6 PPG) (back), DaQuan Jeffries (0 PPG) (ankle) and Jahmi’us Ramsey (1.3 PPG) (groin) are all out.
THE HEAD-TO-HEAD: SACRAMENTO KINGS
The all time head-to-head record in the 62 regular season games played sees the Magic losing by 29-33.
Last season the Magic took an overdue pair of wins, to take the series 2-0. On January 13th 2020 Orlando won on the road by 114-112. The win was secured by a clutch 3 pointer from Aaron Gordon with 1.1 seconds remaining. In the Bubble on August 2nd Orlando won 116-132.
The Kings had won the previous 5 meetings.
The teams have never met in the playoffs.
THE MAGIC INJURY REPORT
There appears to be a positive change to the injury report as I write. Firstly, the squad of 17 is now standing at 12 fit players, with three others nearing a return. According to ESPN:
Chum Okeke (3 PPG) is still absent from the rotations with a bone bruise in his left knee. However he is now involved in practice. 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. He is questionable for tonight.
Al-Farouq Aminu is out after recovering from knee surgery. He has been involved in practices.
Markelle Fultz (12.9 PPG) has a torn left knee ACL, a season finishing injury. He is now in the lengthy process of rehab following successful surgery.
Jonathan Isaac is out indefinitely recovering from knee surgery.
THE LINE-UP AS THE MAGIC WELCOME SACRAMENTO
Coach Clifford is likely to remain with the starting unit seen recently.
Expect Cole Anthony (11 PPG), Evan Fournier (18.2 PPG), Aaron Gordon (14.8 PPG), James Ennis III (4.5 PPG) and Nikola Vucevic (23.5 PPG).
From the bench came Terrence Ross (14.6 PPG), Khem Birch (7.1 PPG), Gary Clark (3.7 PPG) and Dwayne Bacon (9.2 PPG).
Jordan Bone (5 PPG), Karim Mane (1.2 PPG) and Mo Bamba (5 PPG) were available but did not feature.
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDING – 8th
SEASON RECORD – 8-10
HOME RECORD – 4-4
ROAD RECORD – 4-6
RECORD LEADING AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER – 3-2
WHEN LEADING AT HALF TIME – 7-1
AND WHEN LEADING GOING INTO THE FOURTH QUARTER – 5-1
NBA OFFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 26TH OF 30 (106)
NBA DEFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 19TH OF 30 (110.5)
OPPONENTS POINTS PER GAME – 14TH OF 30 (110.1)
RECORD WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 100 POINTS – 1-7
WHEN SCORING MORE THAN 100 POINTS – 7-3
WHEN SCORING 110 POINTS OR MORE – 5-2
AND WHEN SCORING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 2-0
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 100 POINTS OR LESS – 3-1
WHEN CONCEDING 110 POINTS OR LESS – 6-2
AND WHEN CONCEDING 120 POINTS OR LESS – 8-5
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
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KEYS TO THE GAME AS THE MAGIC WELCOME SACRAMENTO
As the Magic welcome Sacramento into the Amway Orlando will be confident of taking a win.
Sacramento are vulnerable and their defensive stats show that. Over the last four games Orlando have shot 44.1% from 3 point range. That stat is second best in the league during that period. Orlando will want to see that continue.
Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier have been strong on the offensive play. Cole Anthony stepped up in the last game to assist the scoring, with his career best of 21 points. Aaron Gordon recorded a double-double also in the game, his second of the season. Dwayne Bacon also contributed a valuable 15 points from the bench. The more who can consistently step up to help them the better.
The Kings have several obvious threats who the Magic will seek as their primary defensive tasks. Controlling the efforts of De’Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III, Buddy Hield and Hassan Whiteside (if he plays) is a must for Orlando to win.
Orlando must get a win. The Magic must use this opportunity to move back towards the .500 mark.
WE BELIEVE IN OUR TEAM!
LET’S GO MAGIC!