Sometimes as a fan a game can be hard to watch and seeing the Memphis Grizzlies again maul the Magic by 96-124 was one of those nights. Orlando were outclassed by Memphis for much of the game. The first quarter was competitive but the statistics do not lie. Memphis held the lead for 47 of the 48 minutes. Memphis led by at least 15 points for the entirety of the second half.
It can not be underestimated how much for Orlando the loss of Jalen Suggs and Wendell Carter Jr were to the team. Suggs is an energetic and intelligent defender, exactly what is needed against Ja Morant. Wendell is a strong presence on the glass, the type of competitor needed against Jaren Jackson Jr and Steven Adams.
The Magic had no answer to Ja Morant. His play is both spectacular and intelligent. The supporting cast around are impressive in their roles. Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr dominate the boards and protect the paint with strength and ability. Desmond Bane shoots the ball with great threat. The bench may not be packed with household names but they are an effective unit that provides consistent scoring. The Grizzlies could hurt some of the more fancied teams in the West come the post season.
Magic Top Performers
Cole Anthony led the team with 19 points.
Franz Wagner got 15 points for his 55th double figure scoring game in 65 played.
Mo Bamba again produced a double digit scoring game with 10 points.
Moe Wagner led the bench. Returning after missing 9 consecutive games he produced a strong double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Ignas Brazdeikis worked hard off the bench, scoring 12 points.
Magic Starting Lineup – Cole Anthony (PG), RJ Hampton (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Chuma Okeke (PF), Mo Bamba (C)
Magic Bench Unit – Markelle Fultz, Moe Wagner, Terrence Ross, Admiral Schofield, Ignas Brazdeikis, Robin Lopez (DNP), Gary Harris (DNP)
Injury Report – Jalen Suggs (ankle), Wendell Carter Jr (illness), Jonathan Isaac (rehabilitation of surgically repaired left knee), Bol Bol (out for the season after foot surgery)
Up Next After The Grizzlies Again Maul The Magic
After this defeat Orlando holds a record of 16 wins and 49 losses, which still sees us last in the Eastern Conference. Houston now holds the worst record in the NBA, by virtue of having played two games less (15-48). Over the last 10 games played the Magic have won 4. The home record stands at 7 wins of 29 games played. The record on the road now stands at 9 wins in 36 games played. Points per game sees the Magic scoring 103.8 whilst conceding 111.9.
Life does not get any easier for Orlando! The Magic now return home to the Amway Center to play the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. The teams last met less than a month ago on February 12th, when Phoenix outclassed Orlando by 105-132. Devin Booker scored 26 points to lead the Suns to victory. Chris Paul dished out 15 assists. Jalen Suggs led the Magic with 20 points and 10 assists, as Chuma Okeke gave support with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Phoenix Suns
The Suns comfortably hold the best record in the NBA and lead the West. They have a record of 51 wins and 12 losses. At home Phoenix have 28 wins in 35 games played. In 2022 they have won 22 games and lost only 4. This team is rating top 3 on both offence and defensively in the NBA.
Phoenix play in Milwaukee on Sunday evening. They will be without several key players. Injury is affecting Devin Booker (covid protocol), Chris Paul (thumb), Frank Kaminsky (knee), Cameron Johnson (quad) and Dario Saric (torn ACL).
A game review by Josh Cohen as the Memphis Grizzlies again maul the Magic is available on the Orlando Magic website.