Orlando face the defending champions, the Milwaukee Bucks tonight on Game Day 17. Both teams are on the second night of back-to-back fixtures.
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).
The Matchup For Game Day 17 As Orlando Face The Defending Champions
Last night saw the Magic fall short in Brooklyn despite building a 19 point first half lead, James Harden and the Nets dominated the second and third quarters on their way to beating the Magic 115-113.
Milwaukee also played last night, a homecourt matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Bucks who’ve had a slow start to the season beat the Thunder 96-89 to improve to 8-8 on the year.
The Season So Far
Orlando now have a 4-11 losing record and remain last in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee sit tenth in the East with an 7-8 record. The Magic have won 3 of their last 10 games played, Milwaukee have won 4.
The Bucks as everyone knows are led by Giannis Antetokounmpo. They like to play a fast paced game, Milwaukee average points per game 107.9 points per game. Surprisingly their average points per game conceded is 109.3, reflecting the Bucks difficulty on defence so far this season. Milwaukee are lethal with the three ball but are having some minor struggles scoring closer to the basket. Defence is not a proving to be a strength as yet. They are still elite at defending the three, traditionally daring teams to shoot it. However unlike in previous seasons their defence inside the arc is being penetrated. As yet they have not dominated rebounding as so often before.
Orlando’s scoring average is now 100.2 points per game. The gap between those scored and points conceded is still significant, with the Magic conceding an average of 109.3 points per game. Statistics across the board still need to be better. The Magic offensive and defensive ratings are unimpressive, many being amongst the worst in the NBA. Steals made and against, turnovers, two-pointers attempted, two-pointers made, total field goals made, field goal percentage, opposition offensive rebounds and opponents scoring on second chances are still problematic.
Head-To-Head – The Milwaukee Bucks
The head-to-head record in the 117 regular season games played sees the Bucks leading 64-53. Recent history is not with Orlando either. If you include the 2020 Playoff series Milwaukee have now won 18 of the last 22 games played against Orlando!
The teams have not met this season, until now. Last season saw Milwaukee sweep the Magic 3-0. None of the games were close, with 12 points being the closest margin of victory.
The teams met 4 times in the regular season of 2019-20 again with Milwaukee winning them all.
In playoffs the Bucks and Magic have met twice. In 2001 the Bucks won 3-1. 2020 saw Milwaukee again win, taking the series with a gentleman’s sweep 4-1.
Our Opponents – The Milwaukee Bucks
Head Coach Mike Budenholzer has talent and some over in this squad. Defending the NBA title has not proven a smooth task so far. In truth their efforts have been hampered by injury and absence through COVID protocols to some key players.
As I write the Milwaukee are listed on ESPN as having impactful absences with both Brook Lopez (back) and Donte DiVincenzo (ankle) out.
Last night Milwaukee started with Jrue Holiday (PG), Grayson Allen (SG), Khris Middleton (SF), Giannis Antetokounmpo (PF) and Bobby Portis (C).
Support usually comes from Pat Connaughton, George Hill, Semi Ojeleye and Jordan Nwora. They can also draw upon Rodney Hood and Thanasis Antetokounmpo.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
At the time of writing ESPN shows Orlando as having the following issues.
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.
Markelle Fultz is still out after last season’s left knee ACL tear and subsequent surgery.
The Magic Lineup As Orlando Face The Defending Champions
Coach Mosely regained the continuity in New York of the starting 5 as Jalen Suggs returned. The Coach will retain that team he has favoured all season if Suggs is fit. That unit has been Jalen Suggs (PG), Cole Anthony (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF) and Mo Bamba (C).
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 The Defending Champions
Orlando will certainly feel hard done by after last nights close loss to the Nets, there were several missed calls and some bad officiating, despite that the Magic had their chances down the stretch, this team will figure out how to win these types of games soon.
It was great to see better production from the bench in last nights game, something that we will need to continue to help the starters. The starting five remain one of the best starting fives in the league outscoring opponents by 14 points per 100 possessions, something we saw in the first quarter in Brooklyn.
Orlando are 0-2 in second night of back to backs, finding a way to stop Giannis will be one of the biggest tests this young Magic team have had yet and will need to slow him down for a chance to win tonight.
Let’s Go Magic!