Tonight Orlando conclude the trip in Denver as the Magic take on the Nuggets. The road trip has seen two loses and a win so far.
The tip time from the Ball Arena is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 2am here in the UK (9pm 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.
Can Orlando find the keys to unlocking a victory in Denver to sweep the Nuggets this season? Join us as we look at the history and factors involved in this match up from the Ball Arena in the Mile High City.
The Orlando Magic
Last time out Orlando saw the Phoenix Suns win by 105-132 on Saturday night. Chris Paul is a maestro and conducted his finely tuned orchestra. The Suns dished out 40 assists, a season high for Phoenix and of which Paul had 15. Sometimes you just have to applaud your opponent and acknowledge the better team. Orlando fought but Phoenix dominated. The Magic cut a 21 point second quarter deficit down to just 8 during the third. Phoenix came out swinging and at the close a 27 point margin of did not flatter the Suns.
Jalen Suggs recorded his career first double-double, as he contributed 20 points and a career-best 10 assists. That could have been higher but Suggs again had to withdraw for a lengthy period in the third, appearing to limp from the court to return in the final quarter. Cole Anthony supported with 17 points and 3 assists. Chuma Okeke tallied a double-double from the bench with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Wendell Carter Jr was the third Magic player to post a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Franz Wagner and Terrence Ross both had double digit point scores.
Orlando now has a record of 13 wins and 45 losses. The Magic remain 14th in the Eastern Conference. In the last 10 games played the Magic have won 4, having lost 2 straight. The home record stands at 5 wins of 25 games played, whilst on the road it is 8 wins in 33 played. In points per game the Magic are scoring 103.1 whilst conceding 111.5. The efficiency rating for the Magic remains 28th on offence and 21st defensively.
The Magic now have 24 games remaining this season, of which 16 are at home.
The Denver Nuggets
Denver also played last on Saturday night. They were on the road, beating the Toronto Raptors 110-109. Denver were led in most categories by the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic with a double-double of 28 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks. All 5 starters had double digit scoring.
Denver have a record of 31 wins and 25 losses, seeing them 6th in the Western Conference. At home the Nuggets have a record of 15 wins in 25 games played. They have won 6 games of the last 10 played. They score 109.6 points per game, conceding only 107.6. This team is rating 9th on offence and 16th defensively in the NBA.
Head-To-Head – The Denver Nuggets
The head-to-head record sees Orlando and Denver sharing the spoils at 33-33 in the 66 regular season games played.
The teams have already met this season, with Orlando taking a win by 103-108. Prior to that Denver had won the last 10 matchups. Orlando’s last win in Denver was on December 8th 2015, by 85-74.
The teams have never met in the playoffs.
Our Opponents – The Denver Nuggets
Coach Michael Malone is hampered by injuries to Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr and Vlatko Cancar, who are all out for extended periods. Monte Morris is questionable following an absence from concussion. Zeke Nnaji is also questionable.
Last Starting Lineup – Bones Hyland (PG), Will Barton (SG), Aaron Gordon (SF), Jeff Green (PF), Nikola Jokic (C)
Bench Unit – Austin Rivers, JaMychal Green, Facundo Campazzo, Bryn Forbes, DeMarcus Cousins
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
There is no change to the Magic injury list on ESPN.
Moe Wagner is again updated as being out with a left rib contusion.
RJ Hampton remains out with a left knee injury.
Markelle Fultz is out indefinitely with no public timeline for his return. There are multiple fan tweets that he mouthed last night he’d be back soon.
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 Conclude The Trip In Denver
It is unlikely that Coach Jamahl Mosely makes any change to his core unit. Expect him to feature the same team as in Salt Lake City against the Utah Jazz.
Some Final Thoughts As Orlando Conclude The Trip In Denver
This has been a challenging road trip against quality Western Conference opponents.
Though the two defeats have been by some distance there has to be an element of perspective. That 27 point margin of defeat in Phoenix should not be viewed by Orlando fans as a damning report on the team’s development. In their previous game the Suns had disposed of a full strength Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA’s defending champions by 107-131, a victory by 24 points.
Orlando have to continue to show that spirit which saw Portland, Utah and Phoenix have to play their core units heavily. Gary Harris will be eager to perform well in front of the arena crowd where he spent so many seasons as a fan favourite. His game could be an important factor.
Denver are a team that play at a slow pace, in part to allow Jokic to get into position. They also do not put up a barrage of shots, especially from deep favouring to play closer to the basket. Denver rank 3rd for field goal percentage and assists in the League. The Magic they will need to work diligently on defence for the full shot clock and concentrate on their assignments. Jokic is top 10 in the league for points scored, points per game and assists, whilst featuring in the top 20 around free throw categories.
Denver are not a great rebounding team on either end of the court, despite Jokic leading the league in defensive and total rebounds. They also rate poorly in respect of blocks and steals. Boogie Cousins could improve them in this area.
If Orlando find a way to slow Jokic then they are capable of taking a win that would surprise the NBA.
Let’s Go Magic!