For the final time this season we have Orlando Magic basketball in Chicago. The Magic are looking to close in on the Bulls with hopes of the play-in tournament remaining.
The Orlando Magic
- Orlando’s record is 23-34
- The Magic are 13th in East.
- Orlando score 111.1 points per game (27th of 30) and concede 113.9 (17th of 30)
- Orlando are now 5-5 in their last 10 games. The home record is 14-15, whilst on the road it stands at 9-19
- The Magic are 19th in the NBA for pace, have an improving offensive rating at 25th and 19th in defence.
- Orlando last played on Saturday night, in a tight and somewhat controversial loss the Miami Heat by 107-103
The Chicago Bulls
- Chicago are 11th in the Eastern Conference
- Their record stands at 26-30
- Chicago score 113.7 points per game (24th of 30) and concede an almost identical 113.6 (15th of 30)
- The Bulls have won 4 of their last 10 games. Their home record is 16-11.
- Chicago rank at 14th in pace, 24th on the offensive rating, but a healthy 9th in the NBA’s defensive ratings.
- The Bulls last played on February 11th, taking a loss in Cleveland to the Cavaliers by 89-97.
Squad and Injury News
For the Orlando Magic Chuma Okeke is still working his way back to fitness, but no longer appears on the injury report. RJ Hampton has not travelled with the team on this road trip and is such of conjecture on being waived. Patrick Beverley was told not to report to the Magic, being bought out after his trade to the team for Mo Bamba. Terrence Ross has now also been bought out and becomes able to seek a future elsewhere. Being the first night of a back-to back for Orlando there is a consideration as to Jonathan Isaac and management of his knee.
For Chicago Lonzo Ball and Javonte Green remain out, everyone else is available as I write.
What To Expect Of Magic Basketball In Chicago
For tonight and Magic basketball in Chicago the eye is instantly drawn to the continuing battle of the centres. Wendell Carter Jr seemingly loves facing the team that traded him. The player who made the reverse trip, Nikola Vucevic continues to churn out double-doubles, remaining a threat to those he faces (17.9 ppg and 11.4 rpg). However the Bulls are led in points per game by DeMar DeRozan (25.5 ppg) whilst Zachary LaVine follows closely (23.8 ppg).
Chicago shoot the three the least in the NBA, relying heavily on shooting the mid-range 2 and attacking the basket. As a team they score in excess of 81% of their attempts from the free throw line, 5th in the league.
The Magic have the opportunity to create scoring from range, as the Bulls allow a lot of shots from distance. There will be good opportunities for fast break scores and from Chicago turnovers. Paolo Banchero still leads the Magic in scoring (20 ppg), closely followed by Franz Wagner (19.1).
Head-To-Head – The Chicago Bulls
The all time head-to-head record in the 120 regular season games played sees the Magic trailing by 55-65
The teams have met twice season with each winning on the road. On November 18th Orlando won 108-107, with Magic scoring led by Wendell Carter Jr (21 pts), Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner (20 pts each), whilst DeRozan fired home 41 points. January 28th saw Chicago take a 128-109 win as LaVine and DeRozan did the damage with 32 points each.
Last season the teams met four times, Chicago taking the series 3-1. The previous 10 meetings sees the record tied at 5-5.
The playoff record is 6-4 to Chicago, being tied 1-1 for series victories. The Magic famously won 4-2 in the 1995 Eastern Conference Semi-finals, but in 1996 were swept 4-0 in the Conference Final.