Tonight Orlando are in search of some MAGIC in Portland against the Trail Blazers. Orlando will look to improve after two poor performances at home over the weekend. Portland will look very different from the team Orlando faced on January 17th.
The tip time from Portland is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 3am here in the UK (10pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando). To watch the game live or on demand in the UK you will need an active NBA League Pass 2021/22 subscription.
Time to dive into some history and news on this match-up.
Last Games And Season Records.
The Orlando Magic
Orlando’s offensive play lacked any rhythm. From the field Orlando shot less than 36% and just over 19% with the three ball. With just 17 assists Orlando clearly displayed a lack of ball movement that blighted the attacks, along with a lot of fumbled ball handling. Jalen Suggs led the Magic with 17 points, followed by Wendell Carter Jr with 14. They were the only two Magic players to score in double digits.
Orlando now has a record of 12 wins and 43 losses. The Magic are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and hold the worst record in the NBA. In the last 10 games played the Magic have won 4. The home record stands at 5 wins of 25 games played, whilst on the road it is 7 wins in 30 played. In points per game the Magic are scoring 102.9 whilst conceding 111.4. The efficiency rating for the Magic remains 28th on offence but dropped to 23rd defensively.
The Portland Trail Blazers
Head coach Chauncey Billups has not had the easiest first season in charge and the last few days have done nothing to make life easier for the foreseeable future. Portland will be a team in flux as they move established players out and welcome new faces in.
They have recently traded Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe, Justice Winslow and Keon Johnson. Today a deal is being reportedly finalised that sees CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr and Tony Snell heading to New Orleans, receiving back Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tomas Satoransky and draft compensation.
They are also dealing with the loss of Damian Lillard to elective surgery for an abdominal issue.
Portland played last on Saturday night (February 5th), losing at home 137-108 to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Portland’s record is 21 wins and 33 losses, seeing them 11th in the Western Conference. Of the last 10 games played they have won 3 times, losing their last 5 games. At home Portland have 14 wins in 29 games played. In points per game the Trail Blazers score 107.8 whilst conceding 112.3, rating 20th on offence and 29th defensively.
Head-To-Head – The Portland Trail Blazers
The all time head-to-head record in the 64 regular season games played sees the Magic trailing by 25-39.
Our recent record with the Trail Blazers is far from good. Portland have won the last 10 games played, sweeping the series over each of the last 4 seasons. Orlando’s last victory over Portland was on January 13th 2017 in the Moda Center. For a win in the Amway Center for Orlando you have to go back to December 18th 2015.
The previous game this season saw Orlando lose 98-88 on January 17th. Jusuf Nurkic bullied Orlando in the paint taking a double-double of 21 points and 22 rebounds.
The teams have never met in the playoffs.
Our Opponents – The Portland Trail Blazers
With the trade activity involving Portland it is a little hard to know what lineup they will field. It is unclear if McCollum and Snell will be part of the squad, let alone as a starter. Eric Bledsoe and Keon Johnson could play.
Last Portland Starting Unit – Anfernee Simons (PG), CJ McCollum (SG), CJ Elleby (SF), Tony Snell (PF), Jusuf Nurkic (C)
Last Portland Bench Unit – Ben McLemore, Dennis Smith Jr, Trendon Watford, Justice Winslow, Greg Brown III, Keljin Blevins
Damian Lillard, Cody Zeller, Nassir Little and Larry Nance Jr all remain out through injury (and Nance Jr is on the trade block also).
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
As I write there has been an additional name on the Magic injury report.
ESPN now shows 1 concern and 5 absences:
Moe Wagner is day-to-day and questionable for tonight with a left rib contusion.
RJ Hampton is out with a left knee injury.
Markelle Fultz is out indefinitely with no public timeline for his return.
E’Twaun Moore remains out with a sprained left knee.
Michael Carter-Williams is out after surgery to repair his left ankle ligament.
Jonathan Isaac continues to be out as he rehabilitates the repaired left knee. There remains no public timeline for his return to the court.
The Magic Lineup As Orlando Are In Search Of Some Magic In Portland
Coach Mosely is unlikely to move away from his favoured rotations, though there is the questinable availability of Moe Wagner.
Some Final Thoughts As Orlando Are In Search Of Some Magic In Portland
The Magic have to react after two sub-par performances. Defence was non-existent against Memphis, whilst offence was absent against Boston. However with the uncertainty that Portland are going through this is an opportunity to do so.
As already alluded to, Portland will look different to when the teams met just 3 weeks ago. In that game Jusuf Nurkic secured a double-double as he was able to get his way in the paint easily. Orlando were out rebounded on both ends of the floor, seeing Portland get plenty of second chance opportunities. Both teams committed a ridiculous amount of turnovers but only Portland were able to capitalise by scoring from the mistakes. Orlando will have to contend better with Nurkic, Ben McLemore and Anfernee Simons
The Magic had a cold shooting night when the teams last met. At that point Portland had the NBA’s lowest ranked defence and the position is only slightly improved since. Orlando failed to land a punch on Portland that night, much as against Boston in our last game. Amongst those who will be expecting to get back to scoring ways will be Franz Wagner and Cole Anthony.
Each of these issues must be addressed if the Magic are to break a 10 game losing streak to the Trail Blazers.
Lets Go Magic!