Game Day 54 and the Magic take on the Spurs on the second night of a back-to-back for both teams. The Magic aim to end a 5 game losing run on the final night of a home stand.
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The tip time is shown on the NBA app and Orlando Magic website as being 1am here in the UK (8pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
THE MATCHUP AS THE MAGIC TAKE ON THE SPURS
The Spurs played last night in a high scoring road game, beating the Dallas Mavericks by 119-117. DeMar DeRozan hit the game winning shot with a step back jump shot with 1 second remaining. Four Spurs players made double figure scoring. DeMar DeRozan led in all scoring with 33 points.
The Magic took a heavy defeat last night in the Amway Center against the Milwaukee Bucks by 124-87. Orlando misfired on both ends of the court with only two players making double figure scoring being Mo Bamba and Cole Anthony. Bamba with 21 points showed a great scoring touch from the bench, working well at times with Anthony and Hampton. Gary Harris hit 9 points, 2 assists, a steal and a block on his debut as a Magic starter.
The Spurs have won 13 of 22 games on the road this season, which is better than their home record. Orlando have won 10 of 28 games at home. Season records see Orlando at 17-36, whilst San Antonio are 25-26. Across the last 10 games that each team has played both teams have a 3-7. San Antonio are on a 1 game win run whilst Orlando have lost their last five games.
Results see San Antonio 9th in the Western Conference and Orlando are still sat 14th in the Eastern Conference.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS
The Spurs come into the game as the NBA’s 19th ranked offensive team, scoring 110.5 points per game.
Offensively they are yet another team happy to play a patient game and use all of the shot clock. They can and will attack at pace where the opportunity presents, making 12.7 fast break points per game. Scoring wise 56.6% comes from inside the paint, the second most in the NBA. Only 28% of their points per game come from beyond the arc, though this figure has been under 21% over the last three games. They shoot 46% from the field and 35.5% with the 3 ball. Assists per game are greater than that of the Magic at 24.4 per game, Orlando average 22.4. San Antonio do draw fouls, mostly from the drive to the basket or bang-bang plays in the paint. They attempt 21.7 free throws per game, making 17, a 78.4% efficiency rate.
A defensive rating at 11th sees them conceding an average of 111.1 points per game.
Defensively they block 5.1 times per game, whilst stealing the ball 7.2 times per game. They turn the ball over at a very low rate of only 11.5 times per game, meaning they concede very few fast break points per game, only 11.7. On average they foul 17.8 times per game, only Orlando (16.9) and Milwaukee foul less in the NBA. The Spurs are not a dominant offensive rebounding team, probably rising from their high scoring percentage in the paint not relying on the three ball. Their defensive rebounding average has dropped heavily since we last played, when they ranked top 5.
THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS SQUAD
San Antonio’s Head Coach is the ever excellent and NBA legend Gregg Popovich. He used a starting line-up of DeMar DeRozan (21.2 PPG), Dejounte Murray (15.9 PPG), Jakob Poeltl (8.2 PPG), Derrick White (14.6 PPG) and Keldon Johnson (13 PPG). That starting unit all carry their share of scoring.
From the bench came Patty Mills (12.1 PPG), Rudy Gay (11.1 PPG), Lonnie Walker IV (11.5 PPG) and Drew Eubanks (4.6 PPG).
Available but not featuring were Devin Vassell (5 PPG), Luka Samanic (3.7 PPG), Keita Bates Diop (2.1 PPG), Quinndary Weatherspoon (1.1 PPG) and Tre Jones (1.8 PPG).
According to their injury report on ESPN Gorgui Dieng (7.3 PPG) (shoulder) and Trey Lyles (5.5 PPG) (ankle) are out as I write,
HEAD-TO-HEAD: THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS
As the Magic take on the Spurs the all time head-to-head record in the 64 regular season games played sees the Magic behind by 19-45.
This will be the final meeting of the season. The Spurs took the last game 77-104 on Game Day 34 in San Antonio on March 12th.
We met twice last season, the series being tied 1-1.
The Spurs have won the last two matchups. However, over the past 4 seasons the series has been tied 1-1 on each occasion. From January 2012 to the end of the 2015-16 season San Antonio won 10 games straight!
These teams have never met in the playoffs.
THE MAGIC INJURY REPORT AS THE MAGIC TAKE ON THE SPURS
As I write the injury report on ESPN has not been updated. Last night injury list was as follows.
Mo Bamba (6.9 PPG) was questionable but played through with a hip contusion.
Chuma Okeke (6.9 PPG) missed the game but he is day-to-day with a hip issue.
Otto Porter Jr (9.7 PPG) is out with a foot injury.
Karim Mane (1 PPG) was listed as out with a hamstring issue, but his status was again questionable for the game.
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 for a torn ACL.
THE MAGIC LINE-UP AS THE MAGIC TAKE ON THE SPURS
The Magic starting unit against Milwaukee used by Coach Clifford was the 25th of the season. It saw Gary Harris (9.6 PPG) make his first Magic start alongside Michael Carter-Williams (8.8 PPG), Wendell Carter Jr (11.4 PPG), James Ennis III (8.3 PPG) and Dwayne Bacon (10.2 PPG).
From the bench came Terrence Ross (16.1 PPG), RJ Hampton (4.3 PPG), Cole Anthony (11 PPG), Mo Bamba (6.9 PPG), Devin Cannady (3 PPG) and Chasson Randle (5.3 PPG).
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDING – 14th
SEASON RECORD – 17-36
HOME RECORD – 10-18
ROAD RECORD – 7-18
NBA OFFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 29TH OF 30 (105.4)
NBA DEFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 23RD OF 30 (113.2)
POINTS PER GAME – 29TH OF 30 (104.2)
OPPONENTS POINTS PER GAME – 16TH OF 30 (111.9)
RECORDS WHEN LEADING AND SCORING
RECORD LEADING AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER – 8-10
WHEN LEADING AT HALF TIME – 13-4
AND WHEN LEADING GOING INTO THE FOURTH QUARTER – 10-3
RECORD WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 100 POINTS – 1-21
WHEN SCORING 100 TO 109 POINTS – 5-10
WHEN SCORING 110 TO 119 POINTS OR MORE – 5-4
AND WHEN SCORING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 6-1
RECORDS FOR CONCEDING THIS SEASON
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 100 POINTS OR LESS – 6-3
WHEN CONCEDING 100 TO 109 POINTS – 3-6
AND WHEN CONCEDING 110 TO 119 POINTS – 6-13
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 2-13
LEAST AND LARGEST ON THE SEASON
LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY – 20 – GAME DAY 7 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT – 46 – GAME DAY 49 UTAH JAZZ
HIGHEST POINTS SCORED THIS SEASON – 130 – GAME DAY 2 WASHINGTON WIZARDS
LEAST POINTS SCORED THIS SEASON – 77 – GAME DAY 38 SAN ANTONIO SPURS
MOST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 137 – GAME DAY 49 UTAH JAZZ
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 TAKE ON THE SPURS
As the Magic take on the Spurs you can guarantee that San Antonio under Coach Pop will be well organised, play a tenacious defensive game and have scoring throughout the team. Whilst DeRozan is the obvious focal point for the offence he is supported by a cast of players who show that the team can be greater than the individual parts. Orlando will need to be aware of those threats as the Spurs are a team who share the offensive load. Defence of the paint will be key.
For Orlando scoring is again a must. Last night the Magic shot only 37.2% from the field and an abysmal 22>2% from the three! Statistics clearly show that if we hit less than 100 points then we almost certainly lose. Across the last 3 games Orlando have only averaged 103 points per game. To be in with a strong chance Orlando must reach at least 110 points. Orlando’s lowest points total of the season game in the road fixture against San Antonio.
Points from the free throw line could be at a premium for both teams with the low rate each ballclub foul at. Orlando must avoid getting into foul trouble and must limit the live ball turnovers.
KEY DATES IN THE NBA
Orlando has seen results around them beneficial for the lottery position. The Magic remain with the 4th worst record in the NBA. This means Orlando have a 12.5% chance of landing the number 1 draft pick when the lottery comes. Orlando are still 5.5 games back of Chicago in 10th.
The dates to look for as the season progresses are:
The regular season ends May 16th.
The Play-In tournament is May 18th and 21st.
From May 22nd to July 22nd the NBA Playoffs are scheduled to run.
The date for the Draft Lottery as June 22nd.
The 2021 NBA Draft is set for July 29th.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has indicated the 2021-22 season is hoped to start back at its more normal time of late October.