Orlando are home to face Milwaukee on Game Day 36. This is the first of two home games against the defending NBA champions in three nights.
The tip time is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being midnight here in the UK (7pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
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Sunday 26th December – Orlando Magic 83 – 93 Miami Heat
Magic Top Performers – Gary Harris led Orlando in scoring with 20 points, his 12th double-digit score in the last 13 games. RJ Hampton came from the bench for 14 points, adding 2 steals and 5 assists. Franz Wagner recorded 13 points. Hassani Gravett made 12 points in his second NBA start.
Saturday 25th December – Boston Celtics 113 – 117 Milwaukee Bucks
Bucks Top Performers – Giannis Antetokounmpo with 36 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks carried the team. Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton both had 17 points, whilst from the bench Bobby Portis recorded 16 points.
Orlando’s record is now 7 wins and 27 losses. The Magic remained 14th in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played the Magic have won 2 and looking back further it is 16 losses in 19 games. The home record stands at 2 wins of 13 games played, whilst on the road it is 5 wins in 21 played. In points per game the Magic score 101, whilst conceding 110.3. In offensive rankings Orlando remain at 28th, improving to 25th defensively.
Milwaukee have a record of 22 wins and 13 losses. The Bucks are 3rd in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played the Bucks have won 6, including their last 3 played. Their road record stands at 10 wins in 18 played. In points per game the Bucks score 110.5, whilst conceding 107.1. In the offensive rankings Milwaukee sit a 9th, defensively it is unsurprising to see them 8th.
Head-To-Head – The Milwaukee Bucks
The head-to-head record in the 119 regular season games played sees the Bucks leading 66-53. Recent history is not with Orlando either. If you include the 2020 Playoff series Milwaukee have now won 20 of the last 24 games played against Orlando!
The teams have met twice this season, both games in Milwaukee. The first on Game Day 17 was a 108-117 Milwaukee win. The Bucks had led by 29 points but with 2 minutes to play the Magic had cut the deficit to 6 points. Next on Game Day 18 Milwaukee won 92-123, a game in which Milwaukee had a 41 point advantage by half time.
Last season saw Milwaukee sweep the Magic 3-0. None of the games were close, with 12 points being the closest margin of victory.
The teams met 4 times in the regular season of 2019-20 again with Milwaukee winning them all.
In playoffs the Bucks and Magic have met twice. In 2001 the Bucks won 3-1. 2020 saw Milwaukee again win, taking the series with a gentleman’s sweep 4-1.
Our Opponents – The Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks are again led by the exceptional Giannis Antetokounmpo. He has been absent recently through COVID-19 protocols but returned on Christmas Day.
Head Coach Mike Budenholzer is not lacking talent in this squad. After a slow start to their title defence Milwaukee have picked up the pace. They have been hampered all season by both injury and absence through COVID to key players.
As I write the Milwaukee Bucks are listed on ESPN as having only once absence, being Brook Lopez (back) who is out.
On Christmas Day Milwaukee started with Jrue Holiday (PG), Grayson Allen (SG), Khris Middleton (SF), Giannis Antetokounmpo (PF) and DeMarcus Cousins (C).
From the bench came Bobby Portis, Donte DiVincenzo, Pat Connaughton, Wesley Matthews and George Hill. Further support can come from Jordan Nwora, Semi Ojeleye, Rodney Hood and Thanasis Antetokounmpo.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
ESPN shows an improvement to the Magic injury status.
Cole Anthony is out again for management of his ankle injury.
Chuma Okeke has entered NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
BJ Johnson has entered NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
Mychal Mulder remains in NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
Mo Bamba remains in NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game. He also sprained his right ankle in LA and missed the Atlanta game.
Terrence Ross remains in NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
Markelle Fultz is still out. On Friday 10th December he went through his first full practice since the ACL injury in the left knee.
Jalen Suggs is out with a fractured right thumb. He will be out for “an extended period of time” and is to be reevaluated in the next week.
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. He is said to be making great and steady progress, but is not yet cleared for contact.
The Magic Lineup As Orlando Are Home To Face Milwaukee
Coach Mosely can hopefully draw on extra resources tonight. Moe Wagner and Ignas Brazdeikis have exited NBA protocols for COVID-19. Admiral Schofield and Hassani Gravett have both signed second 10-day contracts.
Magic Players Available Tonight: Hassani Gravett, Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, Admiral Schofield, Wendell Carter Jr, Moe Wagner, Ignas Brazdeikis, RJ Hampton, Robin Lopez, Tim Frazier and Freddie Gillespie
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 Home To Face Milwaukee On Game Day 36
Do Orlando have any hope of winning this game? It requires so much to go well for the Magic that even the most die-hard Orlando fan will be clutching at straws. But that does not mean they have lost before the tip.
Through the season’s adversity Orlando have played with grit and determination. They have consistently tried to fight, despite the odds. Orlando are attempting to play in constant changing rotations without practice time. Whilst it is draining to watch as fans the losses are not hurting the team development, many of the guys on the court will not be present going forward.
Any game where Cole Anthony’s offence is missing hurts the team. That is the case tonight. Gary Harris is hitting double digit scores with regularity. Franz Wagner is getting the attention of defences as he continues to impress in his rookie season. The Bucks will dare Orlando to shoot the three-ball as they swarm the paint defensively.
Milwaukee will launch a bombardment from deep, they will crash the boards and they will drive to the basket.
The Magic must make sure they are faultless in their defensive efforts and avoid unnecessary fouls. Rebounding has to be better, no easy task against one of the NBA’S best. Turnovers must be reduced as had been the case recently. Orlando can not afford to be giving away cheap points.
Finally, facing Giannis will be one of the biggest tests this young and makeshift Magic team have had. They will need to slow him down to have any chance to win. Even then there are multiple threats in every position from Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Khris Middleton, DeMarcus Cousins, Bobby Portis, Donte DiVincenzo, Pat Connaughton, Wesley Matthews and George Hill.
No easy task but…
Let’s Go Magic!