Orlando are back in New York to face the Knicks. It will be the third meeting this season, each having taken a win on the other’s homecourt. It’s Magic Game Day 15!
The tip time is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 12:30am here in the UK (7:30pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
The Matchup For Game Day 15 As Orlando Are Back In New York
The Magic fell on the road to the Atlanta Hawks by 111-129 on Monday night. Orlando faltered on the defensive end, being outscored by 14 points in the second half. The Magic played better on the offensive end but could not contain the Atlanta scoring. Orlando could not cope with John Collins or Clint Capella in the paint, whilst Trae Young stormed his way through the defence to consistently get to the basket.
Cole Anthony again led the Magic with 29 points, a career high 11 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. From the field Cole shot a strong 11 of 19 from the field, whilst making 4 of his 8 attempts from beyond the arc. Wendell Carter Jr scored 15 points, adding 9 rebounds, 2 assists, plus a block and a steal. Wendell got off to a hot start as he scored 10 points in the opening 6 minutes. After that point inexplicably Orlando seemed to not give him opportunities to add to that total, getting only 3 more shots all game. Franz Wagner recorded 19 points. He added 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a block. Terrence Ross provided 19 points from the bench.
The Knicks also played last on Wednesday night, registering a homecourt win over the Indiana Pacers by 84-92. Going into the final quarter New York trailed by 5 points but the Knicks defence held the Pacers to just 10 points in those 12 minutes to take the win. Immanuel Quickley and Kemba Walker co-led the Knicks in scoring with 16 points each. Derrick Rose, RJ Barrett also added double figure scoring. Julius Randle recorded an 11 point and 11 rebound double-double.
The Season So Far
Orlando have dropped to a 3-11 losing record that puts them last in the Eastern Conference. The New York Knicks are 6th in the East with a winning 8-6 record.
Going into tonight’s game the Magic have won 2 of their last 10 games played and are on a 3 game losing streak. Orlando’s scoring average is now 99.9 points per game. The gap between those scored and points conceded has increased, with the Magic conceding an average of 110.1 points per game. Statistics do not make for good reading. The Magic offensive and defensive ratings are poor, both 27th of 30. Stats for steals made and against, turnovers, two-pointers attempted, two-pointers made, total field goals made, field goal percentage, opposition offensive rebounds and opponents scoring on second chances are all amongst the worst in the NBA.
New York by contrast have been playing some efficient and entertaining basketball. In their last 10 games played their record is 5-5. The Knicks offence ranks in the top 10 of the NBA. They score 108.4 points per game (15th of 30), whilst conceding 107.4 (16th of 30). Expect them to play at a steady pace, to get good offensive rebound numbers, to look after the ball and shoot the three well. They do not get a lot of steals but are the NBA’S 4th best for blocks made. New York defend the paint hard but are susceptible to conceding from deep.
Head-To-Head: The New York Knicks
This will be the third meeting of the season between the teams. The Magic lost by 121-96 on Game Day 2 in the Amway Center. Orlando then won in New York on Game Day 3 by 110-104, Cole Anthony lighting it up on the court where his dad played.
For the Magic in New York results in recent games had not been favourable, Orlando had lost the last 4 fixtures. That was until Game Day 3.
The teams met three times last season in what were mostly scrappy games. Orlando lost the series 2-1.
Across the 121 regular season games played the Magic lead 62-59. The teams have never met in the playoffs.
Our Opponents – The New York Knicks
Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau used a starting unit of Kemba Walker (PG), Evan Fournier (SG), RJ Barrett (SF), Julius Randle (PF) and Mitchell Robinson (C) in the win over Indiana.
From the bench came Obi Toppin, Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, Alec Burks and Taj Gibson.
ESPN list Nerlans Noel as out.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
At the time of writing ESPN shows Orlando as having the following issues.
E’Twaun Moore remains out with a sprained left knee.
Michael Carter-Williams is out after surgery to remove a bone fragment and repair his left ankle ligament.
Jonathan Isaac continues to be out as he rehabilitates from a left knee ACL injury that saw him miss all of last season.
Markelle Fultz is still out after last season’s left knee ACL tear and subsequent surgery.
The Magic Lineup As Orlando Are Back In New York
Coach Mosely lost the continuity in the starting 5 that was a feature of the first 13 games this season against Atlanta. Jalen Suggs missed that game with an ankle sprain. Gary Harris stepped into the starting unit at the shooting guard position.
However, barring any late changes Coach Mosely will return to the team he has favoured all season as Suggs is fit again. Expect a starting unit of Jalen Suggs (PG), Cole Anthony (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF) and Mo Bamba (C).
Check Out Other Orlando Magic U.K. Content
On each game day make sure to check Twitter and Facebook to play along with our Magic Moments competition. Simply comment with your prediction for each of five questions we will ask on that night’s game. At the end of the season we will send out a prize to whoever tops the league with the most correct predictions.
Final Thoughts As Orlando Are Back In New York
To spring a second surprise win over New York in the Madison Square Garden may be a big ask for Orlando.
New York are in good form. They have depth, ability, play with belief and at times a swagger. Randle is a leader, capable of big numbers in points, rebounds and assists. Evan Fournier is no stranger to Magic fans and as we know can get hot quickly. Kemba Walker is a perennial “Magic Killer” and has Derrick Rose as back up from the bench.
However, Orlando put up a better offensive performance against Atlanta and will draw confidence from that. They know their defensive play was less than expected and have been honest in interviews about that. Scarily for New York is the thought that Cole Anthony blames himself for that, so has motivation to put in another big night in front of his hometown crowd.
Let’s Go Magic!