The second night of a back-to-back sees Orlando face the Indiana Pacers for the first time this season. Both teams are struggling in the East so are searching for some momentum.
Time to take a quick stroll through both team’s seasons, squads and history of the match up.
Last Games And Season Records.
The Orlando Magic
Magic Top Performances – Wendell Carter Jr showed he loves the opportunity to play his former team, with 24 points. Franz Wagner had a 22 point scoring performance, the 44th game he has scored double figures in 52 played, having hit 20-points or more on 13 occasions. Chuma Okeke on defence was invaluable, including 3 blocks and 2 steals. His positioning and application to the task may not show in the boxscore but results in his opponent having to find a pass. Cole Anthony had hustle. A steal in third quarter, hitting the resulting opportunity from deep typified his night. By the close he had 20 points, had 9 assists and was more efficient than of late.
Orlando’s record is now 11 wins and 41 losses, seeing the Magic sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. We hold the worst over all record in the NBA. Of the last 10 games played the Magic have won 4. The home record stands at 5 wins of 23 games played, whilst on the road it is 6 wins in 29 played. In points per game the Magic are scoring 102.8 whilst conceding 110.7. The efficiency rating for the Magic remains 28th on offence and 21st defensively.
The Indiana Pacers
Monday 31st January – LA Clippers 116 – 122 Indiana Pacers
The Pacers were led with a 26 point and 10 rebound double-double from rookie Isaiah Jackson. Caris LeVert had 17 points, Duane Washington contributed 16 points, whilst Terry Taylor weighed in with a further 15 points. The Pacers shot over 52% from the field and in excess of 48% from the three. They also won the rebound battle comfortably. As a team they produced 31 total assists.
Indiana have a record of 19 wins and 33 losses, which sees the Pacers surprisingly off the pace being at 13th in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played Indiana have won 4. The home record stands at 13 wins of 26 games played. In points per game the Pacers score 108.9 whilst conceding 110.8, rating 17th on offence and 25th defensively.
Head-To-Head: The Indiana Pacers
History is against Orlando on this one. The all time head-to-head record in the 116 regular season games played sees the Magic down 49-67.
Last season all three games were hard fought affairs, that saw Orlando swept 3-0 by the Pacers. The same was true of the previous season as Indiana swept the Magic 3-0 in competitive games. Indiana have therefore won the last 6 meetings. Orlando had won 3 straight in 2019..
The teams have met 3 times in the playoffs. The record is 1-2 for the Pacers in series and 5-10 in games. The Pacers took both the 1994 (0-3) and 2012 (1-4) first round meetings. Orlando took a famous 4-3 win in the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals.
Our Opponents – The Indiana Pacers
Experienced head coach Rick Carlisle extensive absences to key players. All absent for extended terms are Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, Malcolm Brogdon, TJ McConnell, TJ Warren and Goga Bitadze. Oshea Brissett is day-to-day.
Those absences have no prevented them being able to field some good players.
Starting Unit – Caris LeVert (PG), Chris Duarte (SG), Justin Holiday (SF), Torrey Craig (PF) Isaiah Jackson (C).
Bench Unit: Jeremy Lamb, Duane Washington Jr, Terry Taylor, Lance Stephenson, Keifer Sykes
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
Nothing new to see here! ESPN shows 5 absences again:
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 Face The Indiana Pacers
On the second night of a road back-to-back coach Jamahl Mosely will be considering his rotations and minutes played by his core unit. It is unlikely he changes too much to the group who are playing well together in 2022.
Final Thoughts As Orlando Face The Indiana Pacers
Indiana have undoubtedly lost talent in every area in both the starting and bench units. This has had an impact on their season so far. Offensively the Pacers are very effective attacking from inside the two-point line. The Pacers are a strong offensive rebounding team. They are however guilty of wasting possessions through a high number of turnovers. The Pacers are not a team who make a lot of steals, but block shots with the best in the NBA.
All that considered Orlando will have the opportunity to find scoring. They are improving markedly and even though tiredness will be a factor this game is winnable. The Magic are strong at attacking the paint, a weakness for the Pacers defence. Could this be the night Cole finds his early season form again?
As with last night this game could be an entertaining one.
The tip time from Indianapolis is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being midnight here in the UK (7pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando). To watch the game live or on demand in the UK today you will need an active NBA League Pass 2021/22 subscription.
Let’s Go Magic!