The Magic close preseason against Boston tonight in the Amway. This second game against the Celtics sees Orlando‘s focus on opening night.
The tip time is shown on the NBA app and the Orlando Magic website as being 12:00 midnight here in the UK (7:00pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
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The Matchup As The Magic Close Preseason Against Boston
This is the Magic’s fourth and final preseason game. Two defeats on the road in Boston and New Orleans was followed up by defeat in the Amway to the San Antonio Spurs.
Having trailed to the Spurs for much of the game a fourth quarter rally by Orlando came up just short, losing by a single point. The Magic had faced a deficit of 18 points but the Orlando offence exploded for 36 points in the final 12 minutes. An unfortunate handling error during the final play of the game by Jalen Suggs sealed the Magic’s fate.
A pairing of Carter Jr and Bamba worked well. Mo Bamba tallied a double-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks. Carter Jr’s stats read 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. Each encouraged the other and celebrated together. Terrence Ross led all Magic players in scoring with a solid 20 points. RJ Hampton and E’Twaun Moore also made double digit scoring with 12 and 10 respectively.
Boston last played on Saturday night at home to the Toronto Raptors. The Celtics won the game 11-113, being led by Jayson Tatum in both points (20) and assists (7). He also added 9 rebounds and a steal. The Celtics starting unit was Marcus Smart (PG), Romeo Langford (SG), Jayson Tatum (SF), Al Horford (PF) and Robert Williams III (C). This however will not be the team we face tonight.
Our Opponents – The Boston Celtics
Boston do again have some injury concerns, whilst some players are absent for rest. Dennis Schroeder is day-to-day but out with a knee injury. Jaylen Brown is out having tested positive for COVID. Also out are Al Horford, Marcus Smart, Josh Richardson and Jayson Tatum.
The strength and gritty defence of Marcus Smart gave Jalen Suggs a difficult debut in Boston. Smart is the heart of this Boston team and embodies their qualities. His absence will leave a hole in their defence.
This will be the third game in charge for the Celtics’ new head coach Ime Udoka. He is yet to experience defeat in the role with home wins over Orlando and Toronto.
In our preview of the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division we took a look at the key arrivals and departures for the Celtics as they seek to reclaim their former glory. Since that article was published Boston traded with the Memphis Grizzlies on September 3rd acquiring Juancho Hernangomez (F) in exchange for Kris Dunn (G), Carsen Edwards (G) and a 2026 second round pick swap.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
Orlando have the same 4 injury absences as throughout the preseason, with 1 new but welcome addition.
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 additional listed player is Devin Cannady. He is shown as being day-to-day after having re-signed with the Magic on Tuesday. Cannady was waived by Orlando after undergoing surgery to a horrendous ankle dislocation and severe lateral ankle sprain, sustained against Indiana on April 25th.
The Orlando Lineup As The Magic Close Preseason Against Boston
Firstly 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 the starters were Cole Anthony, Gary Harris, E’Twaun Moore, Moe Wagner and Mo Bamba.
Coach Mosely used a third different starting unit against the Spurs . Here it was Jalen Suggs (PG), Gary Harris (SG), Terrence Ross (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF) and Mo Bamba (C).
With opening night next the starting lineup tonight for Orlando will likely take on a look which the Coach intends to utilise then. It is also not unreasonable to expect player minutes to increase for the core group.
The Final Thought
To date Orlando have not won a game in preseason. There have been many positives from the exhibition games that will give the team confidence going forward. Even though Boston are weakened massively by those absences today it remains a useful opportunity for Coach Mosely and his squad to continue their work ahead of opening night in San Antonio on October 20th, when the Spurs are the opposition.