Sacramento Kings vs Orlando Magic in seeding game 2 of the restarted NBA. It’s game day Magic fans! This is another big opportunity for us.
The game has a U.K. tip time of 11:00pm. As always it will be available live & on demand via the NBA League Pass. Unfortunately the match has not been selected for broadcast on Sky Sports.
In this week’s episode of Penny For Your Thoughts we spoke about the game & are all feeling this could be a Magic victory. If you missed the episode catch it here:
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THE BATTLE FOR 7TH & 8TH CONTINUES
We sit in the 7th seed position after the win against Brooklyn on Friday. An appearance is not yet guaranteed but we remain in a strong position. Our record is now 31 & 35.
We are 6.5 wins ahead of the 9th placed Washington Wizards, with a 24 & 41 record.
After the Brooklyn game the 7th seeding position belongs to the Magic. The Nets now have a 30 & 35 record. Tonight the Wizards face the Nets at 7:00pm, a game to keep an eye on.
Including games prior to the hiatus, in our last 10 games we are 7-3, winning 4 on the bounce. In the NBA offensive rankings we had seen our position improving as the team had found their shot. We are sat at 22nd on the season, our rating of 108.2 remaining constant, whilst our average scoring was 106.7 points per game (27th in the NBA). Our defensive ranking was dropping back, being 10th at 109, whilst still allowing only 107.5 points per game (5th for opponents PPG in the NBA).
MAGIC INJURY REPORT & STARTERS
Al-Farouq Aminu (4.3 ppg) (torn meniscus) did not travel to the restart in Walt Disney World being out for the season.
Wes Iwundu cleared the NBA concussion protocol before Friday’s game against Brooklyn but did not feature. He remains listed as questionable with a neck injury.
Against Brooklyn our starting lineup was DJ Augustin (10.4 PPG), Evan Fournier (18.9 PPG), James Ennis III (6 PPG), Aaron Gordon (14.3 PPG) & Nikola Vucevic (19.5 PPG).
From the bench we have Markelle Fultz (12 PPG), Michael Carter-Williams (7.2 PPG), Jonathan Isaac (12.1 PPG), Terence Ross (14.7 PPG), Mo Bamba (5.4 PPG ), Wes Iwundu (5.3 PPG), Khem Birch (4 PPG) & Gary Clark (3.2 PPG), BJ Johnson (1.6 PPG), Vic Law (0 PPG) & Melvin Frazier Jr (1.1 PPG).
OUR OPPONENTS – SACRAMENTO KINGS
Looking to tonight’s opponents, the Sacramento Kings who come into the game as the 11th place team in the West with a 28-37 losing record, losing two straight.
The Kings rank offensively 19th in the NBA with a rating of 109.7 whilst scoring an average of 109.2 points per game. Defensively their rating of 111.7 whilst allowing opponents an average of 111.2 points per game gives them a ranking of 20th. The Kings in their last outing lost by a scoreline of 120-129 to the San Antonio Spurs.
Their starting lineup for that game was De’Aaron Fox (20.8 PPG), Bogdan Bogdanovic (14.6 PPG), Harrison Barnes (14.6 PPG), Nemanja Bjelica (11.9 PPG), Richaun Holmes (12.8 PPG). From the bench they can bring on Kent Bazemore (8.7 PPG), Buddy Hield (19.6 PPG), Cory Joseph (6.3 PPG) Harry Giles III (6.8 PPG) Alex Len (8.3 PPG) & Jabari Parker (14.7 PPG) amongst others.
Looking to their injury list Len is listed as day to day. Marvin Bagley Jr (13.7 PPG) will not feature because of a right foot injury that will keep him out for the rest of the season.
HISTORY OF THE HEAD-TO-HEAD
This season the Magic took an overdue win by 114-112 on January 13th. The win was secured by a clutch 3 pointer from Aaron Gordon with 1.1 seconds remaining.
Last season we lost the series 2-0. In fact the Kings had won the last 5 meetings until we broke the run in January. The all time head-to-head record in the 61 regular season games played sees the Magic losing by 28-33.
KEYS TO THE GAME
As I have said many times before there are no easy games in the NBA & Sacramento is certainly not an easy game. It is another night where we can not afford to underestimate our opponents due to a sub 500 record.
We will need to turn up, play at a high level & produce a disciplined performance to take the win tonight. If we commit too many turnovers we will be in trouble against a team like Sacramento. They offer weapons from all areas of the court so our defence will need to be of a good standard throughout the game.
Evan Fournier rediscovered his shooting on Friday against the Nets, as did the Magic from beyond the arc going 11-31 (35%). The Magic got themselves to the free throw line (25-28 from the foul line) for a valuable source of points. Good ball movement was key against Brooklyn, as a team we had 31 assists.
We rank above them defensively so if we play well in our core game we should be able to score points.
THE INTERESTING NUMBERS
The Magic are 16-10 when they lead after the first quarter, 12-23 when they trail.
Orlando are 25-2 when leading going into the 4th quarter.
When the Magic score 110 points or more they are 21-2. Hit 115 points or more & they won all 17 games. When scoring at least 120 points the Magic won all 12 games on the 2019-20 season.
Against teams over .500 Orlando have a 5-26 record, which tells you exactly where our struggle for wins has been this season. Of the 8 seeding games to be played 4 are against sub .500 teams, being the Brooklyn Nets (x2), Sacramento Kings & New Orleans Pelicans.
To check out the schedule Click Here.
Keep an eye out on the screens inside the arena tonight as Paul will be a part of the NBA Virtual Fan Experience.
WE BELIEVE IN OUR TEAM! LET’S GO MAGIC!