Tonight on Magic Game Day 28; Orlando go back-to-back with the Lakers in Los Angeles. This match closes out a 5 game trip West for the Magic.
The tip time is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 2:30am here in the UK (9:30pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
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The Game Day 28 Matchup As Orlando Go Back-To-Back With The Lakers
Saturday 11th December – Orlando Magic 102 – 104 LA Clippers
Magic Top Performers – Cole Anthony led the Magic with 23 points. His play in the final quarter pushed Orlando into the position of challenging for the win, including drawing the Magic level on a thrilling 3-pointer with 23.6 seconds left. Terrence Ross dropped 22 points, making all 13 of his free throws. Wendell Carter Jr had 14 rebounds and a career high 7 assists but struggled scoring. Franz Wagner added 20 points, whilst Gary Harris continued his improved scoring with 14 points.
Friday 10th December – Los Angeles Lakers 116 – 95 Oklahoma City Thunder
Lakers Top Performers – LeBron James carried his team with 33 points. Avery Bradley notched 22 points, whilst Austin Reaves led the Lakers bench with 13 points.
Orlando’s record is now 5 wins and 22 losses. The Magic stay 14th in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played the Magic have won just the 1, now being on a 4 game losing streak. The schedule has been very road heavy so far for Orlando. The home record stands at 2 wins of 10 games played, whilst on the road it is 3 wins in 17 played. In points per game the Magic score 101.6 whilst conceding 112. Offensive and defensive rankings both have Orlando at 28th.
The Lakers are 6th in the Western Conference with a 14-13 winning record. Of the last 10 games played the Lakers have won 6. Their home record is a winning one at 9 of 16 played. The Lakers play fast, the second highest pace in the NBA. They score at the NBA’s fourth highest rate, with an average 111.4 points per game. Scoring opportunities will be available as the Lakers concede at a tick more than Orlando at 112.1 points per game.
Head-To-Head – The LA Lakers
The all time head-to-head record in the 64 regular season games played sees the Magic trailing by 23-41
Last season saw the series swept 2-0 by the Lakers. Our recent record with the Lakers is a close one, each team having won 5 of the last 10 games played.
The teams have met in the playoffs just once, during the 2009 NBA Playoff Final which the Lakers took by a score of 4-1.
Our Opponents – The LA Lakers
ESPN is showing some very significant concerns for the Lakers. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are both questionable, being listed as day-to-day. Kendrick Nunn and Trevor Ariza are both out.
Last Starting Line-Up: Russell Westbrook (PG), Avery Bradley (SG), Talen Horton-Tucker (PF), LeBron James (SF), Dwight Howard (C)
Head Coach Frank Vogel has many experienced options from the bench. Carmelo Anthony, Malik Monk, Wayne Ellington, DeAndre Jordan, Kent Bazemore and Rajon Rondo are all part of the squad.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
ESPN has no amendments from yesterday’s game preview.
Markelle Fultz is still out. Having travelled with the team he is joining the team on court in practice sessions. There is no timetable on his return following his devastating ACL injury in left knee.
Jalen Suggs is out with a fractured right thumb. He will be out for “an extended period of time” and is to be reevaluated in the next week.
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.
The Magic Lineup On Game Day 28
Coach Mosely will almost certainly utilise the unit that has consistently opened games since Jalen Suggs went down.
Starting lineup – Cole Anthony (PG), Gary Harris (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF), Mo Bamba (C)
Available From The Bench – Chuma Okeke, Moe Wagner, RJ Hampton, Ignas Brazdeikis, Mychal Mulder and Robin Lopez
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Final Thoughts On Game Day 28 As Orlando Go Back-To-Back With The Lakers
The Lakers are not a young team. They are filled with talent and experience but questions had been raised about both their stamina and chemistry. So how do Orlando approach the game.
The Magic will need to defend the paint well as the Lakers play their offence in the main inside the arc. Defence will need to be mobile as the Lakers move the ball, ranking 10th in assists.
Unfortunately for Orlando the Lakers are 7th in steals made, not ideal for a turnover prone team. Another part of their active hands defence is the number of blocks they make per game, 5th in the league.
Rebounding will be a battle ground that could determine the outcome.
The Magic will get scoring opportunities. The Lakers do turn the ball over a lot. They concede points heavily, especially inside the arc and from the free throw line.
This is potentially Franz Wagner’s biggest test of his rookie career as he will likely match up against LeBron.
Let’s Go Magic!