Orlando are in Memphis to battle the Grizzlies, a must win for the Magic if they are to remain mathematically in reach of the play-in game. The game has potential to be a highly entertaining matchup against a Grizzlies team that are hugely talented, hard nosed and in great form.
- The tip off time from Memphis is 01.00am for us U.K. fans (8pm in Orlando).
- To watch here in the U.K. you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.
The Orlando Magic
- Orlando have a 32-43 record, remaining 13th in the Eastern Conference. This sees the Magic now only 0.5 games back of Indiana (12th), 1.5 from Washington (11th) and 4 games to Chicago (10th). The Magic now have just 7 games remaining including tonight.
- Coming into the game the Magic have won 3 games straight and 5 of the last 10 played.
- Orlando has a road record of 13-24.
- On the season Orlando score 111.8 points per game (26th of 30) and concede 114.2 points per game (17th of 30).
- Orlando took a strong home court win over a tired looking Brooklyn Nets last time out by 106-119. The team got balanced scoring as 8 Magic players recorded double digit scoring. Cole Anthony (a candidate for Sixth Man Of The Year in my opinion) recorded 21 points. Franz Wagner weighed in with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Jalen Suggs returned after missing the last four games to provide great defence and 16 points. The other double-digit scoring came from Paolo Banchero, Wendell Carter Jr, Gary Harris, Markelle Fultz and Mo Wagner. Fultz also had 9 of the team’s 30 assists.
The Memphis Grizzlies
- Coach Taylor Jenkins has coached his team to having the NBA’s 5th best record on the season so far. The Grizzlies sit 2nd in the Western Conference with a 47-27 record, having won 6 straight and 9 of their last 10 played. They have an enviable home record of 32-5.
- The Grizzlies last game was a tight 123-119 win in Atlanta. The Hawks played hard but 27 points from Ja Morant and 25 from Des Bane pushed Memphis home.
- Memphis still have to seek a win, despite looking fairly set in the Western Conferences second seed position. They could still win the West, if they can claw back the 3.5 game advantage that Denver holds. Equally Memphis could drop back if Sacramento can make up the 2.5 game deficit in third.
- The Grizzlies score 116.8 points per game (9th of 30) and concede 112.4. (7th of 30).
Squad And Injury News
- Kevon Harris has been added to the Magic injury report, being out for the game with a bone bruise. Other than that for Orlando everyone is available other than Isaac.
- Jonathan Isaac (hamstring) remains out for the season for the Magic.
- For Memphis there are some is a significant doubt. Ja Morant is day-to-day and considered doubtful with a thigh injury.
- Definitely absent are Steven Adams (knee), Ziaire Williams (foot/ankle), Brandon Clarke (achilles) and Vince Williams Jr (shoulder).
The Big Picture As Orlando Are In Memphis To Battle The Grizzlies
- In his Nets post-game interview Magic coach Jamahl Mosley reiterated the valuable experience the team are gaining as they try and make the postseason. Some are likening the late season form Orlando are showing to that Phoenix produced in 2020 at the NBA bubble. That late season form and habits created were carried through into the 2020-21 season, culminating in the Suns reaching the NBA Finals.
- 32 wins for the season sees the Magic having attained 10 wins more than the 2021-2022 campaign. That is the largest win increase in the Eastern Conference this season. Orlando has 7 games remaining including tonight’s fixture.
- The head-to-head of 52 regular season games sees the Magic trailing by 25-27. Memphis have won 3 straight over the Magic including a 123-115 win in Orlando in early January. Ja Morant and Jalen Jackson Jr led the scoring with 32 and 31 points respectively. Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner led Orlando with 30 and 22 point performance.
- In many categories for the season Memphis are in the very upper echelons. Over the past 10 games Memphis have been playing hard and at pace! In the period they have averaged 124.1 points, 28.7 assists, 7.9 steals and 4.7 blocks per game, shooting a field goal percentage of 51.5%. In that time they have taken an average of 38.3 three-point-shots each game making 39.2%.
- Scoring comes en masse for Memphis. There is the highlight play of Ja Morant(26.8ppg), Des Bane (21.2ppg) shooting almost 41% from three and from the centre position comes Jaren Jackson Jr (18ppg). Throw in wannabe villain Dillon Brooks’ contribution of 14.1 points per game and it is easy to see how they are difficult to stop.
- Paolo Banchero continues to lead the Magic scorers with 19.8 points per game. He is followed by Franz Wagner (18.7), Wendell Carter Jr (15.6), Markelle Fultz (13.9) and Cole Anthony (12.9).
Two To Watch As Orlando Are In Memphis To Battle The Grizzlies
- Franz Wagner has led the team in scoring an across the past two weeks. In those six games he has recorded per game 18.67 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.3 steals. The man is a warrior, playing through injury. He is also the subject of primary focus from Orlando’s opponents. In his second season Franz has improved stats for shots taken and made from both the two and three. Shooting efficiency and assist ratios are improved, as is his number of free throws taken and made.
- Luke Kennard is one of those role players who seems to trouble Orlando. In 10 career games against us he has averaged 13 points per game. The last three games played against Orlando for Kennard were with the LA Clippers in which he scored 17 points twice and 23 the other. He is having a career year for percentages in field goal made, three-point shooting and from the free-throw line. Since his trade to Memphis Kennard is seeing high usage from the bench, leading the second unit with 14 points in their last game, the victory over Atlanta.