Magic preseason resumes in New Orleans tonight as Orlando face the Pelicans. For the Magic it is the final road game before opening night. After tonight Orlando return home to the Amway Centre to close out preseason against San Antonio (Oct 10th) and finally Boston again (Oct 13th).
The tip time is shown on the NBA app and the Orlando Magic website as being 1:00am here in the UK (8:00pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
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 2021/22 season by subscribing to NBA League Pass.
THE MATCHUP AS MAGIC PRESEASON RESUMES IN NEW ORLEANS
Orlando had a strong start to preseason, losing in Boston by a single point. The game saw Orlando defend well, have good assist numbers (25 total) and shoot the three effectively (17 of 42 for 40.5%). The Magic played with a togetherness and spirit that saw the Celtics’ commentary team being very complimentary.
Jalen Suggs made his Magic debut, matched up against the excellent Marcus Smart. That experience saw Suggs grow into the match, producing a solid set of figures in 21 minutes of play.
Orlando had five players record double digit scoring. Cole Anthony and Moe Wagner led the team with 16 points each. Cole Anthony also led the way in assists with a total of 6. Mo Bamba in an impressive performance recorded a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Gary Harris and Wendell Carter Jr both tallied 10 points.
New Orleans have also played a single preseason game, losing 114-117 on the road to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Pelicans saw rookie forward Trey Murphy III hit 6 of 10 from deep as he recorded 21 points in his debut. They were led in scoring by guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker with 22 points.
THE ORLANDO MAGIC INJURY REPORT
Orlando have the same 4 injury absences as in Boston.
Chuma Okeke is again not expected to play having been protected during training camp so far. This is a result of a hip injury, described as a bone bruise.
Michael Carter-Williams is out after undergoing surgery to remove a bone fragment and repair his left ankle ligament.
Jonathan Isaac remains out as he rehabilitates from the left knee ACL injury that saw him miss all of last season.
Markelle Fultz is reported by ESPN to be without a firm timetable for return from last season’s left knee ACL tear and subsequent surgery.
THE ORLANDO LINEUP AS MAGIC PRESEASON RESUMES IN NEW ORLEANS
Against Boston Coach Mosely started with a three guard lineup of Jalen Suggs, Gary Harris and Terrence Ross. They were joined by Wendell Carter Jr and rookie debutant Franz Wagner.
The bench unit was Cole Anthony, RJ Hampton, Moe Wagner, Mo Bamba, and E’Twaun Moore.
Coach Mosely had set his team a soft minutes restriction so in Boston for the final 5 minutes of the game played all 5 Lakeland Magic guys, being Jeff Dowtin, Hassani Gravett, Ignas Brazdeikis, Jon Teske and Admiral Schofield.
It is fair to expect something similar tonight.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
The Pelicans underwent many changes in playing and coaching staff during the summer.
As with Orlando; New Orleans have a first year head coach. Coach Willie Green played 33 games for the Magic during the 2014-15 season. He was an assistant coach at the Golden State Warriors for their back-to-back championship wins in 2017 and 2018.
Injury wise the Pelicans have Jonas Valanciunas (strained right thumb) listed as probable to make his team debut. Jaxson Hayes (left ankle sprain) and Zion Williamson (right foot surgery) are out. Williamson is expected to be fit for the opening night of the new season.
On Monday New Orleans used a starting lineup of Devonte’ Graham (PG), Garrett Temple (SG), Navi Marshall (PF), Brandon Ingram (SF) and Willy Hernangomez.
Besides rookie forward Trey Murphy III and guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker from the bench amongst others came Jaxson Hayes (C/F), Josh Hart (G) and Tomas Satoransky (G).
THE FINAL THOUGHT
As Magic preseason resumes in New Orleans tonight Orlando face a team who are also finding their feet in the midst of a rebuild.
Against the Celtics we saw Orlando play unselfish basketball, the ball moved creating good open looks. They also played with a strong defensive mindset, showing discipline and a willingness to work for each other.
If the Magic can continue with those principles and with the execution shown in Boston the building blocks for the new season are being embedded into a strong foundation.
To take a win tonight would be good, but again the result is not the be all and end all. Understanding, rhythm and fitness are the goal as we build towards opening night in San Antonio.