Orlando Magic vs Boston Celtics tonight in seeding game 6. Orlando face the high flying Celtics. Yes, it’s game day Magic fans!
The game has a UK tip off time of 10pm so a chance to finish the weekend watching some Magic basketball.
As always the game will be available live and on demand via NBA League Pass. The game has been selected for broadcast on Sky Sports Arena.
OUR PLAYOFF PICTURE
Orlando remain in the 8th seed position after defeat to the 76ers, our third loss of the week. Our season record is now a disappointing 32-38.
The Washington Wizards lost on Friday & that result officially clinched a post season appearance for the Magic. For a second season running Orlando will appear in the playoffs after a long period of absence. Our record is a source of disappointment as we should have delivered better results through the season. However this appearance is another indication of how the NBA media at large underestimate our team, as few pre-season had us included in their post season predictions.
We are still chasing Brooklyn for the 7th seed. That position is going to be decided in part by our matchup next week against the Nets. Being honest finishing 7th or 8th does not see our chances of progression greatly changed. Either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors await & both have taken all games against us this season.
To check out the schedule Click Here.
Since the restart the Magic are 2-3 in the seeding games. Those games tell our season’s story of beating teams sub 500 & losing to those above that marker. Boston are firmly in the plus 500 club.
In the NBA offensive rankings the Magic rate 108.4, now being 23rd. We are averaging 106.9 points per game (25th in the NBA).
Our defensive ranking is 109.3, leaving us as the 10th best defence in the NBA. We surrender an average of 107.8 points per game (6th for opponents PPG in the NBA).
Our game has to intensify in the first quarter. In the past 3 games we have given up a total of 94 points in the first quarter, in reply only scoring 56.
MAGIC INJURY REPORT AND STARTERS
Well, this section gets less pleasant to write each game!
Lets start with the long term news. Jonathan Isaac (11.9 PPG) left the Orlando bubble, having now had successful surgery to the devastating tear to his left ACL. Isaac is out for potentially 12 months. Al-Farouq Aminu (4.3 PPG) (torn meniscus) did not travel to the restart in Walt Disney World & remains out for the season.
Michael Carter Williams (7.2 PPG) is day-to-day with a foot injury & is listed out for tonight.
Aaron Gordon (14.4 PPG) has a strained hamstring & is also day-to-day, he is listed as out for tonight.
Finally, the Magic have announced that Evan Fournier (18.5 PPG) is out with an illness (non COVID related).
Orlando’s starting lineup therefore has to change. Friday’s starters remaining are DJ Augustin (10.4 PPG), James Ennis III (6.3 PPG), Gary Clark (3.4 PPG) & Nikola Vucevic (19.6 PPG). Coach Clifford will have to decide who gets Evan’s starting position, likely being Terence Ross (14.7 PPG) or Wes Iwundu (5.3 PPG).
From the bench we have Markelle Fultz (12 PPG), Mo Bamba (5.4 PPG ), Khem Birch (4.2 PPG), BJ Johnson (1.6 PPG), Vic Law (0 PPG) & Melvin Frazier Jr (1.1 PPG) to choose from.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE BOSTON CELTICS
The Celtics are currently sitting 3rd in the Eastern Conference, with a 46 & 23 record.
They come into tonight having heavily beaten the Toronto Raptors on Friday 122-100. Since the restart Boston have a 3-2 record. The losses came at the hands of Milwaukee& Miami, whilst having beaten Portland, Brooklyn & Toronto.
Looking at the NBA offensive rankings Boston rank 4th with a rating of 113.5 & scoring 113.8 points per game.
Defensively they are 4th at a rating of 107.1 whilst allowing opponents a measly 107.3 points per game.
THE BOSTON CELTICS SQUAD
Boston have zero injury concerns listed!
The Celtics coach Brad Stevens has quality to choose from. Against Boston last time out his starters were Jaylen Brown (20.6 PPG), Gordon Hayward (17.2 PPG), Jayson Tatum (23.3 PPG), Daniel Theis (9.4 PPG) & Kemba Walker (20.8 PPG).
From the bench they can bring Marcus Smart (13.1 PPG), Enes Kanter (8.1 PPG), Brad Wanamaker (6.8 PPG), Semi Ojeleye (3.3 PPG), Robert Williams (4.8 PPG), Javonte Green (3 PPG), Grant Williams (3.4 PPG), Carsten Edwards (3.1 PPG), Vincent Poitier (1.9 PPG), Romeo Langford (2.4 PPG), Tacko Fall (3.2 PPG) & Tremont Waters (3.3 PPG).
Boston are blessed by a squad who all play hard for their team, each other & their Coach.
THE HEAD-TO-HEAD HISTORY – BOSTON CELTICS
History isn’t necessarily with us either for this one.
Tonight will be the third meeting between the Magic & Celtics this season, Boston having won both. When the teams met in the Amway on January 25th Orlando were beaten 109-98 as Gordon Hayward & the Celtics role players stepped up. On February 5th in the Boston the Celtics won 100-116.
Last season we swept Boston, winning all 3 games played. Last season was a marked changed from the previous 11 meetings in which we’d only won 3 across 3 seasons (2015 to 2018). The all time head-to-head record in the 116 regular season games played sees the Magic down 51-65.
In 17 games in the playoffs the Magic are up 9-8.
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
In this weeks episode of Penny For Your Thoughts we discussed the weeks fixtures amongst a whole lot more. If you have not watched it yet you can catch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPTVeYKcdn4
Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl72EQRVc39Ozngxkz3vYrQ
THE KEYS TO THE GAME
With such an injury hit team the Magic now have to find some way to stop Boston. Very few people predicted a Magic win in this game, even before Evan, AG & MCW went down.
To do so we will have to play better as a team & with aggression. As already highlighted Orlando has to have greater intensity in the first quarter. We can not continue to give our opponents a free start. We have lost too many games in the season through poor starts.
A lead at the end of the first quarter or going into the 4th has seen Orlando victorious more often than not on the season.
This is a game for some of the role players to potentially get minutes. Those are the games where they get to show their worth & seize an opportunity. We had similar issues with injury going into face the Lakers on the road, that resulted in probably our best win of the season.
As Magic fans I’m not sure there is a team we prefer to beat more than the Lakers but the Celtics run them a close second for me, so let’s get out there & get the W!
WE BELIEVE IN OUR TEAM!
LET’S GO MAGIC!!