Orlando face a battle in Houston tonight on Game Day 24, as the Magic take on the Rockets. Both are rebuilding and have impactful injuries on that process.
The tip time is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 1:00am here in the UK (8pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
Game Day 24 As Orlando Face A Battle In Houston
Wednesday 1st December – Denver Nuggets 103 – 108 Orlando Magic
Magic Top Performers – Cole Anthony gave the team and fans the boost they needed as he returned after a 6 game absence. Putting up a game-high 24 points (on 10-of-21 shooting from the field) he added 8 rebounds and 7 assists. He sealed the game by holding his nerve and sinking two late free throws to create a two possession lead. Franz Wagner recorded 15 points, 3 rebound, 5 assist, 3 steals and a block. This included making a 3-point shot with 1:45 remaining of the match to push Orlando into their first lead of the game. Wendell Carter Jr played good defence matching up to reigning MVP Nikola Jokic. Wendell scored 18 points, 16 coming in the second half. Mo Bamba added 2 more blocks to his season tally. Gary Harris put in a strong game that included 11 points and 3 steals.
Wednesday 1st December – Houston took a first road win of the season last night taking a 114-110 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Rockets Top Performers – Jae’Sean Tate scored a career-high 32 points and added 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 blocked shots.
Houston are 15th in the Western Conference, with a 5 win and 16 loss record. Houston had lost 15 games straight but have recently found some form winning 4 games consecutively. That sees them having won 4 of the last 10 games played. At home they have won 4 of 9 games played. They score an average 104 points per game, whilst conceding 111.9.
Orlando’s record is now 5 wins and 18 losses. The Magic moved up to 14th in the Eastern Conference, jumping above Detroit. The win over Denver broke a 7 game losing streak and improved the Magic to having won 2 of the last 10 played. The home record reads 2 wins of 10 games played, whilst on the road it is 3 wins in 13 played. Points Per Game – these statistics improved to scoring 100 whilst conceding 110.1.
Head-To-Head – The Houston Rockets
In 65 regular season games played the score stands at 29-36 to Houston.
Houston swept the series 2-0 last season. They did a job on Orlando in the first game on January 8th, winning in Houston by 90-132. For a long period that stood as the seasons’ largest margin of defeat and most points conceded.
The past two seasons have seen the series tied 1-1. However Orlando have only won twice in the past 10 meetings.
These two teams have famously met only once in the playoffs, the 1995 Finals, resulting in a 4-0 win for Houston.
Our Opponents – The Houston Rockets
The Rockets are in a rebuild centring around the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft; Jalen Green, along with Jae’Sean Tate, Kevin Porter Jr and Christian Wood. Throw in Danuel House Jr, Kenyan Martin Jr, David Nwaba along with rookie Alperen Sengun and it is easy to see how Houston fans are positive about their future.
Injury and absence could be a significant factor for both teams in influencing the result. Kevin Porter Jr and Christian Wood are both doubts for Houston, whilst Jalen Green is out. John Wall is still is said to be working on game fitness as discussions continue about him taking to the court for Houston.
Projected Starting Lineup – Eric Gordon (PG), Kevin Porter Jr (SG), Jae’Sean Tate (SF), Garrison Matthews (PF), Christian Wood (C)
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
ESPN is showing:
Jalen Suggs sis out with a fractured right thumb. The team statement says he will be out for “an extended period of time” but that surgery is not required. He is to be reevaluated in two weeks time to assess healing.
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.
Markelle Fultz is still out after last season’s left knee ACL tear and subsequent surgery. He is taking part in more training activities, including contact work.
The Magic Lineup On Game Day 24 As Orlando Face A Battle In Houston
As I write tonight is “as you were” for Orlando.
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Final Thoughts On Game Day 24 As Orlando Face A Battle In Houston
Orlando must again limit live ball turnovers, something that has been done particularly in the last two games.
The Magic will need to be alert the fast paced game Houston’s coach Stephen Silas runs.
Defending the long ball will be a need also. Expect a three point barrage, though the Rockets make just 33%.
Should the Magic foul the Rockets have a woeful free thro percentage at 69.7%, a league worst.
There will be opportunities for Orlando to score. Houston have the worst record in the NBA for turnovers. They defend the three-ball well but are susceptible to scores inside the arc. They also foul and face on average 28 free throws per game.
Both teams will see the game as winnable. Particularly with Cole Anthony, Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr Orlando have a strong starting unit to build the game from.
Let’s Go Magic!