Orlando return home for preseason as they face a visiting San Antonio Spurs. This is exhibition game 3 of 4 for the Magic, seeking a first win following two defeats so far.
The tip time is shown on the NBA app and the Orlando Magic website as being 11:00pm here in the UK (6:00pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
To watch the game live or on demand here in the UK you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription. Never miss a game again and watch the entire 2021/22 season by subscribing to NBA League Pass.
The Matchup As Orlando Return Home For Preseason
Orlando tasted a second preseason defeat in New Orleans, losing by 86-104 to the Pelicans. There can be no pretence that this performance reached the levels of the opening game in Boston.
The first quarter was good, with Orlando taking a healthy lead. As the game progressed a 13 point Magic advantage was overhauled, eventually the Pelicans built an 18 point lead of their own.
Coach Mosely went with a different starting lineup as he experimented with the rotations.
Cole Anthony as the night’s starting point guard finished with 12 points. Mo Bamba got into early foul trouble as he battled Jonas Valanciunas. It saw him limited to just 12 minutes play before fouling out for 7 points, 3 rebounds and an assist. Wendell Carter Jr led all Magic players as he came from the bench, notching up a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. WCJ spent a lot of the game playing at the forward positions, being on court alongside Magic debutant Robin Lopez (playing at centre).
This will be the fourth of five preseason games for the San Antonio Spurs. To date they have a 1-2 record. They opened with a home victory over the Utah Jazz by 85-111, since having lost twice. The first defeat was on the road 105-115 to the Detroit Pistons. Most recently the Spurs lost 109-105 at home to an under strength 8 man Miami Heat. In all three games third year player and Team USA Olympic gold medalist Keldon Johnson has been scoring well.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
Orlando have the same 4 injury absences as in Boston and New Orleans.
Chuma Okeke is not expected to play before the regular season begins. This is a result of a hip injury, described as a bone bruise.
Michael Carter-Williams is out after undergoing surgery to remove a bone fragment and repair his left ankle ligament.
Jonathan Isaac remains out as he rehabilitates from the left knee ACL injury that saw him miss all of last season.
Markelle Fultz is reported by ESPN to be without a firm timetable for return from last season’s left knee ACL tear and subsequent surgery.
The Magic Lineup As Orlando Return Home For Preseason
Against Boston Coach Mosely started with a three guard lineup of Jalen Suggs, Gary Harris and Terrence Ross. The front court was given to Wendell Carter Jr and Franz Wagner.
Against the Pelicans it was Cole Anthony, Gary Harris, E’Twaun Moore, Moe Wagner and Mo Bamba,
With opening night approaching the starting lineup will likely begin to take on a look that the Coach intends to utilise then.
Our Opponents – The San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have seen changes in the off-season. The last remaining member of their championship team; Patty Mills moved on. So did team leader DeMar DeRozan, along with Rudy Gay, Gorgui Dieng and Trey Lyles.
The Spurs do have some injury concerns and have been resting players in the games so far. Zach Collins (F) will not make his Spurs debut until Christmas through a foot injury. Tre Jones (PG) (ankle) and Jock Londale (C) are both out. Keita Bates-Diop (SF) (hamstring) is doubtful. Jakob Poetl (C) was rested against Miami on Friday but is expected to return tonight.
Coach Popovich selected an opening unit to face Miami of Dejounte Murray (PG), Derrick White (SG), Keldon Johnson (SF), Luka Samanic (PF) and Drew Eubanks (C). Previous starting units have also included Lonnie Walker IV (PG), Doug McDermott (PF) and Jakob Poetl (C).
Bryn Forbes must also be mentioned here. In the three preseason games so far he has come from the bench to produce scores of 11, 20 and 16 points.
A Final Thought
Let’s finish with a very simple but totally valid statement about the two Magic losses so far….don’t panic!
Preseason is not about results or necessarily the performance. It is a time of expected mistakes through rust, unfamiliarity and conditioning. Teams play different rotations and experiment. It is especially true for the Magic that training camp and the exhibition games are about getting to know each other. That is true of players with each other. It is true of Coach Mosely knowing his players. It is true of the players in regards toCoach Mosely, his coaching style and principles of play.
These factors affect turnovers, the effectiveness of defence played and offence run. Mistakes allow for learning, they are an important tool to use in training sessions and to build from.
Therefore let’s not overreact. It is far too soon to call anyone a bust.
For those of you going to the Amway Centre make yourselves heard and cheer for those of us sat at home watching.