The Orlando Magic play tonight seeing the Magic preseason at home to Memphis. This will be a second preseason meeting with the Grizzlies.
Tip time from the Amway Center is shown on the NBA app and the Orlando Magic website as being 12 midnight here in the U.K. (7pm Eastern for our friends in Florida). To watch the game live or on demand you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription. Lets hope the NBA have sorted some of the technical issues out for the broadcast as the League Pass app has been unwatchable for many this season so far.
Being a home game it does mean that we will have a welcome return to the Bally Sports Florida commentary team. It will be great to have Dante Marchitelli, David Steele and our guest on the latest Penny For Your Thoughts podcast; Jeff Turner calling the game.
Your Orlando Magic
For the continuing Magic preseason, at home to Memphis is another challenge. The game is not made easier by the loss of Jalen Suggs to injury. There will be some new faces tonight also as since the last game in Dallas Orlando have waived both Aleem Ford and Zavier Simpson. In replacement came guards Alex Morales and Jay Scrubb. Since then Orlando waived Morales without his making an appearance, in place taking on free agent guard Drake Jeffries. This sees the current roster standing at 20 players.
Magic Preseason So Far
Whilst perhaps not as bright as some would have hoped Orlando stand at 2-1 in the preseason so far, having faced three teams from the South West Division of the Western Conference.
Orlando opened their preseason losing 97-109 to the Memphis Grizzlies. A disjointed Magic offence was led by Cole Anthony 17 points. R.J. Hampton scored 14 points and Paolo Banchero contributed 8 points in his NBA preseason debut.
Orlando then took to the court in San Antonio, beating the Spurs 102-99. Wendell Carter Jr recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Franz Wagner weighed in with 12 points as he joined with Paolo Banchero for the first time. Banchero produced a strong box score with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. A Moe Wagner cameo contained his usual enthusiasm and do everything game. RJ Hampton again looked a different player to the one who frankly struggled in Summer League.
On Friday night the Magic produced a come back win by 110-105 in Dallas. Producing a 40 pint second quarter Orlando clawed their way back from a 21 point deficit. Paolo Banchero had his best game so far with 19 points, shooting 6-of-13. Jalen Suggs suffered a lower left leg injury in the first quarter and didn’t return.
Starting Unit In Dallas
Last Time Out Bench Unit
Gary Harris is out following arthroscopic surgery to his torn meniscus of the left knee.
Jonathan Isaac remains rehabbing his 2 year left knee injury absence. There are still reports suggesting he could be available for the season start.
Markelle Fultz is out with a toe fracture.
Admiral Schofield remained unavailable for the Magic with a knee contusion.
Jalen Suggs will be missing after sustaining a left knee capsule sprain and bone bruise against the Dallas Mavericks. His return to play will depend on how he now responds to treatment.
Last Season’s Statistics
Record: 22-60, Finished 15th in NBA Eastern Conference.
PTS/G – 104.2 (29th of 30) Opp PTS/G – 112.2 (20th of 30)
Pace – 10th of 30 Off Rtg – 30th of 30 Def Rtg – 17th of 30
Our Opponents – The Memphis Grizzlies
Projected Starting Unit
Ja Morant (PG), Desmond Bane (SG), Dillon Brooks (SF), Santi Aldama (PF), Steven Adams (C)
David Roddy, Ziaire Williams, Xavier Tilman, Tyus Jones, Brandon Clarke, Vince Williams Jr, Kennedy Chandler, Jake LaRavia (DNP), John Konchar (DNP), Kenneth Lofton Jr (DNP), Jacob Gilyard (DNP), Justin Bean (DNP), Killian Tillie (DNP)
Jaren Jackson Jr is absent following foot surgery and expected to be absent until at least November.
Danny Green is out with a torn ACL, sustained before his move from Philadelphia to Memphis.
Record – 56-26. Finished 2nd in the Western Conference. Lost in NBA Western Conference Semifinals (2-4) versus Golden State Warriors.
PTS/G – 115.6 (2nd of 30) Opp PTS/G – 109.9 (12th of 30)
Pace – 3rd of 30 Off Rtg – 5th of 30 Def Rtg – 4th of 30
Led by their star young back-court duo of Ja Morant and Desmond Bane the Grizzlies were perhaps the surprise team in the West last season. Coach Taylor Jenkins saw wins built on fast paced attacking basketball. They did not shoot the three heavily but attacked the paint, ranking number one in field goals and two-pointers attempted. They were also top rated for total and offensive rebounds, steals and blocks made. And don’t expect them to turn the ball over a lot either!
Memphis are 2-1 in their preseason games so far. They opened their new season on with a 107-102 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. It was a very unfamiliar look the team had with Morant, Bane, Adams and Brooks amongst others not playing. Kenneth Lofton Jr led the Grizzlies to victory with 17 points.
Against Orlando they started a more familiar unit resulting in a 97-109 win on home-court. Morant led all scorers with 22 points, followed closely by Aldama with 21.
On Friday night Memphis fell to defeat in Miami 108-111. Ja Morant again led Memphis with 17 points.
Head-To-Head – The Memphis Grizzlies
In 51 regular season games played the score favours Memphis, at 25-26.
Last season saw the Grizzlies sweep Orlando 2-0, with comfortable victories in each game of at least 20 points. Season 2020-2021 was split 1-1, each team winning on home court. Orlando saw success by sweeping the series 2-0 during the 2019-20 season.
The Magic have won 6 of last the 10 regular season games played. A Magic win on April 3rd 2016 broke a 9 game winning streak for Memphis.
These two teams have never met in the playoffs.
Final Thoughts For A Magic Preseason At Home To Memphis
This is the first chance for Magic fans to see Paolo Banchero on the court in Orlando. It will also be an interesting opportunity to see if progression has been made from the opening game in Memphis.
With every day the season opener on October 19th draws closer. Tonight is another opportunity for the Magic to test themselves against elite opposition. After this only one further exhibition game remains, at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Everything has to be focused on readiness for that opening night in Detroit.
The greatest hope for Magic fans and coaching staff alike is perhaps avoiding any further injuries!
Let’s Go Magic!