Game Day 64 sees the Magic take on the Grizzlies back in Orlando on the second night of a home and away back-to-back with Memphis.
To watch the game live or on demand here in the UK you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription. Never miss a game again and watch the entire 2020/21 season by subscribing here.
The tip time is shown on the NBA app and Orlando Magic website as being 1:00am here in the UK (8pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
THE MATCHUP AS THE MAGIC TAKE ON THE GRIZZLIES
Last night in Memphis the Grizzlies took a 75-92 win over the Magic, a season low in Magic scoring. Orlando held a 43-39 lead at half time but a disastrous third quarter saw Memphis hold a 17 point lead going into the final period. A low scoring game saw Memphis led by Dillon Brooks with 20 points. As predicted Jonas Valanciunas dominated the rebound statistics with a 14 point and 15 rebounds double-double. Ja Morant was held to only 8 points by some tenacious Magic defence.
An inefficient shooting night in all areas sealed Orlando’s fate. Magic turnovers were also high and resulted directly in 20 points against the league leaders in steals and fast break scores. Cole Anthony produced his 12th double figure scoring game in the 13 played since his return from injury. He and Mo Bamba each tallied 15 points. The only other Magic player to reach double figure scoring was RJ Hampton with 11 points.
The loss officially ended any hopes Orlando may have held of reaching the post season.
The Grizzlies have won 18 of 31 games on the road this season, holding a better road record than home. Orlando have won 10 of 33 games at home in the Amway Centre. Season records see Orlando at 19-44, whilst Memphis are 32-30. Across the last 10 games that each team has played the Grizzlies have a 5-5 record, whilst Orlando are 2-8. Memphis have a one game win streak and Orlando have last their last game.
Results see Memphis 8th in the Western Conference and Orlando tied last with Detroit in the Eastern Conference.
The Grizzlies come into the game as the NBA’s 15th ranked offensive team, scoring on average 113.3 points per game. Orlando are 29th with an average of 103.9 points per game.
The Grizzlies have a defensive rating at 8th and sees them conceding 112.3 points per game. Orlando are 24th and concede 112.3 points per game.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
Offensively they play at a fast pace. They take 17.3 fast break points per game which is the most in the NBA and across their last 3 games this number has been 26 points per game. The Grizzlies share the ball and get 26.9 assists per game. Scoring wise 56.2% of Memphis’ points per game come from the 2 ball. Of their 113.3 points per game 55.9 is from inside the paint. Only 29.3% of their points per game is from beyond the arc, being a lower volume 3 point shooting team. Memphis put up 31 shots from deep per game, making 11.1 of them. They shoot 46.6% from the field and only 35.6% with the 3 ball. They attempt 21 free throws per game, making 16.4. That ratio of made free throws sees an accuracy rate 77.9% and accounts for 14.5% of their points.
They rate 19th in blocks (4.7 per game) but lead the league for steals (9.4 per game). They turn the ball over very little at a rate of 13.1 times per game. On average they foul 18.9 times per game. Orlando by contrast foul only 17 times per game, the best record in the NBA. 47.1% of opponent points come in the paint and 34.3% is from deep.
They are a dominant rebounding team, rating 6th in total rebounds, 2nd in offensive rebounding and 6th in defensive.
THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES SQUAD
Last night Coach Taylor Jenkins used a starting line-up of Ja Morant (19.3 PPG), Jonas Valanciunas (17 PPG), Dillon Brooks (16.7 PPG), Desmond Bane (9.1 PPG) and Kyle Anderson (12.1 PPG).
From the bench came De’Anthony Melton (9.8 PPG), Brandon Clarke (10.6 PPG), Justice Winslow (6.5 PPG), Xavier Tilman (6.8 PPG), Tyus Jones (6.7 PPG), Jontay Porter (1.2 PPG), Sean McDermott (2.2 PPG), Killian Tillie (2.4 PPG) and John Konchar (3.5 PPG).
As I write according to ESPN the Grizzlies have two players on their injury list. Grayson Allen (11 PPG) is day-to-day and doubtful with a hand injury. Jaren Jackson Jr (15.3 PPG) was out last night with injury management but could feature tonight.
HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
In 48 regular season games played the score stands level at 24-24.
This is the second and final meeting this season. Memphis won last night as said by 75-92.
Orlando saw success by sweeping the series 2-0 last season. The Magic were on a 3 game winning streak in the series and have won 6 of last the 8 games played. Prior to this recent success season’s 2015-16 and 2016-17 were both split with each team winning on home court. The Magic win on April 3rd 2016 broke a 9 game winning streak for Memphis.
These two teams have never met in the playoffs.
THE ORLANDO INJURY REPORT AS THE MAGIC TAKE ON THE GRIZZLIES
As I write the injury report on ESPN reads:
Chuma Okeke (7.8 PPG) is day-to-day and doubtful for tonight after turning his ankle against Cleveland.
Terrence Ross (15.6 PPG) is listed as out but doubtful with back spasms.
Devin Cannady (4.3 PPG) is out after undergoing surgery for an open dislocated and severely sprained right ankle.
Otto Porter Jr (9.7 PPG) is out with a foot injury and has no timetable for return.
Michael Carter-Williams (8.8 PPG) is out and will miss multiple games with an ankle injury.
Markelle Fultz (12.9 PPG) is out indefinitely recovering from knee surgery for a torn ACL.
Jonathan Isaac is out indefinitely recovering from knee surgery for a torn ACL.
Finally Coach Clifford will miss multiple games after having tested positive for COVID-19.
THE ORLANDO LINE-UP AS THE MAGIC TAKE ON THE GRIZZLIES
As predicted Orlando used starting unit number 30 of the season last night, the most in the team’s history.
The Magic starting unit used by Acting Head Coach Ty Corbin saw Moritz Wagner (5.4 PPG) get his first starting role with the Magic, joining Cole Anthony (12.1 PPG), James Ennis III (8.4 PPG), Gary Harris (10.5 PPG) and Wendell Carter Jr (11.6 PPG).
From the bench came Dwayne Bacon (10.6 PPG), RJ Hampton (5.3 PPG), Mo Bamba (7.4 PPG), Donta Hall (3.3 PPG) and Chasson Randle (5.7 PPG).
RECORD FOR 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 – 75 – GAME DAY 63 MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
MOST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 137 – GAME DAY 49 UTAH JAZZ
LEAST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 83 – GAME DAY 7 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
KEYS TO THE GAME AS THE MAGIC TAKE ON THE GRIZZLIES
As the Magic take on the Grizzlies Orlando must avoid the mistakes of last night. The Magic have to take care of the ball better. Memphis will always force turnovers being the league leaders in steals and fast break points. However errors made this a bigger issue than it needed to be.
Memphis are are balanced team who get production from all parts of their roster. In the absence of Grayson Allen Memphis lost one their most effective three ball shooters. However Bane and Melton are ranked 7th and 12th in 3 point percentage. Brooks and Anderson require attention also.
In Ja Morant the Grizzlies have a one man highlight reel, capable of electrifying drives to the baskets and dunks. This sees him draw a lot of fouls, earning free throws in the process. He has great court vision and rates 10th in the NBA for assists per game.
Jonas Valanciunas is in the top 20 of all NBA players for 2 point field goals. He is 7th for total rebounds, 3rd for rebounds per game and total offensive rebounds, finally on total defensive boards he is 11th.
Once again stopping second chance points is a must and Orlando must avoid foul trouble.
For Orlando success can come from hitting the long ball, which was absent last night. Opportunities will be present to score in the paint against a team who concede a lot of points there.
Mo Wagner certainly irritated Memphis last night. If Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr and Gary Harris can get a grip on the game then the Magic will have an opportunity to win. We again look to Mo Bamba for impact from the bench.
KEY DATES IN THE NBA
Orlando is in a fight for the best lottery position. Houston comfortably hold the worst record. Orlando are tied with Detroit for the 2nd worst record in the NBA, both teams having a 19-44 record. They meet in Detroit on Monday May 4th.
Orlando have a 14% chance of landing the number 1 draft pick when the lottery comes. It also means that their pick can be no lower than 6th. A win tonight would move Orlando level with Minnesota.
The dates to look for as the season moves on 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.
August 2nd sees teams able to negotiate with free agents and from the 6th signing.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has indicated the 2021-22 season is hoped to start back at its more normal time of late October.
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
Check out our podcast Penny For Your Thoughts.
In the latest episode we are joined by Senior Director of Communications for the Orlando Magic, George Galante. As always we review last weeks games and preview the upcoming week and Magic news, and George shares with us his stories about the Dante and Galante Shows, what life is like on the road during the 2020/21 season and what it was like in the final days before the NBA suspended the 2019/20 season last March.
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.