The Charlotte Hornets visit Orlando tonight on Game Day 19 in the Amway Center. The Magic are needing a moral boosting win after a heavy loss last time out.
The tip time is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 12:00 midnight here in the UK (7pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
The Matchup As The Charlotte Hornets Visit Orlando On Game Day 19
Orlando fell to the Milwaukee Bucks last time out on Monday night. Milwaukee had a 41 points lead by halftime and by the close the Magic had lost by a score of 92-123. Orlando could find no answer to the first half pressure the Bucks applied. Unlike in the previous meeting (when the Bucks withdrew their starters) the Magic could not reduce the deficit in any meaningful way. Moe Wagner led the team with 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the bench. RJ Hampton followed with 14 points, 5 assists, 8 rebounds and 2 steals.
Charlotte beat the Washington Wizards 109-103 also on Wednesday night on the road. Terry Rozier hit 32 points, whilst LaMelo Ball had a double-double with 28 points and 13 boards. Gordon Hayward added 16 points.
The Season So Far
Orlando’s record is now a losing 4-14 with the Magic sitting last in the Eastern Conference. The Magic have won 2 of their last 10 games played, whilst losing 3 straight. The Magic have a 1-6 losing record in front of the home crowd in the Amway Center.
Charlotte have an 11-8 winning record that sees them placed 5th in the Eastern Conference, having won 6 of their last 10 games. On the road this season the Hornets have won 5 of 11 games played.
If you read these game previews regularly or watch any Magic related content you are well aware of how bad statistically the Magic are ranking in the NBA. Orlando’s scoring average dropped to 100.9 points per game, whilst conceding an average of 110.8 points per game. The Magic ratings for offensive play (27th) and defensive (28th) show the struggles on both ends of the court. As before steals made by and against, turnovers, two-pointers attempted, two-pointers made, total field goals made, field goal percentage, opposition offensive rebounds and opponents scoring on second chances are still problematic.
Charlotte score the third most points per game in the NBA at 112.2, their issue has been stopping opposition points where they concede 113.1 per game. They play at pace, breaking quickly in transition. Charlotte put up a lot of shots, field goal attempts are the second most in the league, whilst being second for accuracy with the three ball. They get steals and are dominant on the offensive boards.
Head-To-Head: The Charlotte Hornets
History is very tight in this matchup. The all time head-to-head record in the 111 regular season games played sees Charlotte lead by a single game at 56-55.
This will be the second meeting of the season so far, both being in Orlando. Charlotte won on Game Day 5 by 120-111 after finally pulling away from the Magic during the final quarter. For Charlotte Miles Bridges was unstoppable, with help from Gordon Hayward, Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaniels.
The teams met on three occasions last season, the Hornets winning the series by 2 games to 1. On January 24th in Orlando Charlotte won 107-104. The following night again in Orlando the Magic secured victory by 108-117. Finally Orlando fell to a 112-122 defeat on May 7th in Charlotte.
Prior to last season Orlando were on a run of having won the last 4 competitive meetings. Before that Charlotte had won 13 straight!
The teams have met twice in the playoffs. The record is 1-1 in series and 5-3 in games to Orlando. Charlotte were victorious in the 2002 first round meeting by a record of 1-3. On route to the Conference Final Orlando took a 4-0 win in the 2010 Eastern Conference first round playoff meeting.
Our Opponents – The Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are coached by former Orlando Magic interim head and assistant coach James Borrego.
Charlotte are a strong and talented team. Led by Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball (PG), they also feature Terry Rozier (SG), Gordon Hayward (SF), Miles Bridges (PF) and Mason Plumlee (C) in their most recent starting units.
Depth from the bench has mostly come from Nick Richards, Kelly Oubre Jr, Ish Smith, Jalen McDaniels and Cody Martin. Much fancied rookie James Bouknight has only played limited minutes due to the strength of the starting and bench units.
The Charlotte injury report on ESPN shows only one issue, being PJ Washington as doubtful and likely to be out.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
No good news to report here. At the time of writing ESPN shows Orlando as having the following issues.
Cole Anthony is listed as out again with an ankle injury that saw him miss the games in Milwaukee.
Gary Harris is listed as day-to-day with a hand injury and is questionable to play tonight.
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.
Markelle Fultz is still out after last season’s left knee ACL tear and subsequent surgery.
The Magic Lineup As The Charlotte Hornets Visit Orlando
Coach Mosely had to use a fourth different starting unit of the season against Milwaukee on Monday. That unit was Jalen Suggs (PG), Mychal Mulder (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF) and Mo Bamba (C).
Check Out Other Orlando Magic U.K. Content
On each game day make sure to check Twitter and Facebook to play along with our Magic Moments competition. Simply comment with your prediction for each of five questions we will ask on that night’s game. At the end of the season we will send out a prize to whoever tops the league with the most correct predictions.
Final Thoughts As The Charlotte Hornets Visit Orlando
All things being equal and this would be a tight match. However Orlando are missing their offensive catalyst again tonight in Cole Anthony. His form prior to the injury was such that he could exploit this Charlotte defence. Where will that come from for Orlando tonight? Genuinely it is hard to know as few others for the Magic have found a consistent flow on offence as yet. Against the Hornets an opportunity exists for that to happen.
Defensively if Orlando can not slow Rozier, Bridges, Ball and Hayward it could be a long and difficult watch again. Big performances will be needed from Bamba and Carter Jr to prevent second chance opportunities against a team who dominate the offensive glass.
Let’s Go Magic!