Orlando face Charlotte on Game Day 5 in the Amway Center tonight. The Magic are seeking a second win of this new NBA season.
The tip time is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 12:00 midnight here in the UK (7:00pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
The Matchup As Orlando Face Charlotte On Game Day 5
Orlando have a 1-3 losing record and sit 12th in the East. Charlotte have made a strong 3-1 winning start, seeing them sat 2nd in the early Eastern Conference standings.
The Magic fell to the Heat in Miami by 90-107 on Monday night. Orlando fought on the second night of a tough road back-to-back but Miami led almost throughout. Whenever Miami broke away Orlando responded. Twice in the third quarter the Magic cut the deficit to 6 points but the result was never in doubt.
Franz Wagner was the team’s joint leading scorer with 15, along with 4 assists, a block and a steal. Jalen Suggs joined his fellow rookie with 15 points, including making 4 of 8 triples. Robin Lopez and Moritz Wagner had impact. RoLo brought energy and scoring as the Heat threatened to pull away before half time. Moe Wagner got under the Heat’s skin. RJ Hampton racked up 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists to go with a steal and a block.
Charlotte have also played a hard back-to-back. On Sunday night they beat the Nets in Brooklyn. This was followed on Monday with an overtime home loss by 140-129 to the Boston Celtics. LaMelo Ball was just shy of a double-double with 25 points and 9 assists. Miles Bridges scored a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds. Mason Plumlee recorded a double-double and was joined by four others in double figure scoring.
Head-To-Head: The Charlotte Hornets
History is very tight in this matchup. The all time head-to-head record in the 110 regular season games played sees the record tied at 55-55.
The teams met on three occasions last season, the Hornets winning the series by 2 games to 1. On January 24th in Orlando Charlotte won 107-104. The following night again in Orlando the Magic secured victory by 108-117. Finally Orlando fell to a 112-122 defeat on May 7th in Charlotte.
Prior to last season Orlando were on a run of having won the last 4 competitive meetings. Before that Charlotte had won 13 straight!
The teams have met twice in the playoffs. The record is 1-1 in series and 5-3 in games to Orlando. Charlotte were victorious in the 2002 first round meeting by a record of 1-3. On route to the Conference Final Orlando took a 4-0 win in the 2010 Eastern Conference first round playoff meeting.
Our Opponents – The Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are coached by former Orlando Magic interim head and assistant coach James Borrego.
Charlotte are a strong and talented team. Led by Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball (PG), they also feature Kelly Oubre Jr (SG), Gordon Hayward (SF), Miles Bridges (PF) and Mason Plumlee (C) in their most recent starting units.
Depth from the bench has mostly come from Ish Smith, Jalen McDaniels and Cody Martin. Much fancied rookie James Bouknight has only played twice in the four games. His total NBA experience amounts to less than 2 minutes so far.
The Charlotte injury report on ESPN shows Terry Rozier as doubtful and PJ Washington as being out.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
At the time of writing ESPN show Orlando as having significant injury concerns.
E’Twaun Moore remains out, diagnosed with a left sprained knee.
Chuma Okeke is also out with hip bruising. He has no firm timeline for a return.
Michael Carter-Williams is out after undergoing 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.
Markelle Fultz is still out after last season’s left knee ACL tear and subsequent surgery. Video now shows him moving freely in non-contact practice on the court.
The Orlando Lineup As Orlando Face Charlotte On Game Day 5
Coach Mosely rolled out the same starting 5, a constant unit for all 4 opening games. Jalen Suggs (PG), Cole Anthony (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF) and Mo Bamba (C) is the youngest starting unit to open a season in the NBA for over 50 years. It features a pair of rookies, a second year player and two entering their fourth NBA season.
Gary Harris returned to the court for his season debut in Miami. He may be the first change to the starting unit this season tonight, potentially seeing Cole Anthony drop to the bench.
Yesterday the Orlando Magic signed free agent guard Mychal Mulder to a two-way contract, but he is not expected to feature having not yet trained with the team.
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 Face Charlotte On Game Day 5
As Orlando face Charlotte on Game Day 5 the Magic will require grit and determination to win for the first time this season on home court.
The Magic need to get a grip of turnovers, a failing that has hurt them in each defeat so far. Finding a way to score easy buckets will keep games competitive. Against Miami the Magic missed 7 free throws. Whilst the Heat are elite defensively Orlando did not capitalise when reaching the bonus by getting into positions to draw additional fouls. Defence of the paint has to be better against Charlotte who have the Abu to exploit any errors.
Something Orlando can not afford is another scoreless night from Terrence Ross. His contribution on offence is too important to a team that can lack outside offence.
Charlotte play fast, look after the ball and shoot the three at a high percentage. They are currently ranked second for points per game (121.5) and have the NBA’s third best offensive rating. They have also conceded a lot of points across the opening four games of the season, at a rate of 117.2 per game.
Tonight is without doubt a difficult game against our Division rivals, who come into the Amway Center in a rich vein of form. The task is not beyond this young and fearless Magic group!
Let’s Go Magic!