The Magic go to Washington tonight, with Orlando continuing to seek strong performances as the NBA regular season draws towards its close.
- The tip off time from Washington is midnight for us U.K. fans (7pm in Orlando).
- To watch here in the U.K. you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.
The Orlando Magic
- Orlando have a 32-44 record, remaining 13th in the Eastern Conference. This sees the Magic now only 0.5 games back of Indiana (33-44 record in 12th), 2 from Washington (34-42 in 11th) and 4 games to Chicago (36-40 in 10th). The Magic have just 6 games remaining including tonight.
- Coming into the game the Magic have won 5 of the last 10 played.
- Orlando has a road record of 13-25.
- On the season Orlando score 111.7 points per game (26th of 30) and concede 114.2 points per game (17th of 30).
- Orlando came up just short in Tuesday’s 113-108 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, despite rallying back from 23 down. Franz Wagner put up 25 points, followed by Paolo Banchero on 24 (with 5 assists). Goga Bitadze had a big second half impact from the bench with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, a steal and 3 blocks. Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony each dished out 5 assists, putting up double digit scores. The double-digit scoring was rounded out by Wendell Carter Jr.
The Washington Wizards
- The Wizards are pushing to be involved in the play-in game. There is some belief that Washington are looking to drop back in hope of securing better lottery odds. Their 34-42 record, sees them 11th in the Eastern Conferences just two games behind Chicago for the final spot.
- Coach Wes Unseld’s team have won 3 of their last 10 played. Their home record is sat at 18-19.
- The Wizards score 113.1 points per game (22nd of 30) and concede 113.8 (16th of 30).
- Last time out Washington smashed a somewhat unexpected home court win, 111-130 over the Boston Celtics. Kristaps Porzingis lead the team with 32 points, with able support from Deni Avdija for 25 points.
Squad And Injury News
- Kevon Harris is again out for Orlando with an elbow bruise.
- Jonathan Isaac (hamstring) remains out for the season for the Magic.
- For Washington Kyle Kuzma (right ankle sprain) and Bradley Beal (knee) are confirmed out.
- Daniel Gafford (foot) is considered day-to-day and listed as questionable.
The Big Picture As The Magic Go To Washington
- The head-to-head sees the Magic leading the Wizards by 74-60 in regular season games. Washington had won 7 consecutive games against Orlando before the third meeting of the season last week. Going into that game both meetings this season had seen comfortable wins for the Wizards, by 19 and 20 points. However in the Amway Center last week the Magic broke that cycle by winning 112-122. Gary Harris led the Magic equalling his season high with 22 points. Balanced scoring saw Franz Wagner with 20 points, Paolo Banchero 18, Markelle Fultz had 17 points, whilst Wendell Carter Jr rounded out the starters scoring with 14. From the bench came Cole Anthony to record 16 points and Mo Wagner was impactful as the back up centre with 15 points.
- Over the past 10 games Washington’s play has broadly followed their season trends. A steady paced game, using the clock and favouring the two-pointer, though the three point attempts are increased. Corey Kispert is proving to be highly effective from range, shooting 42.3% from beyond the arc.
- On defence the Wizards dominate the boards, block shots effectively and give up very few free throws per game to opponents. They allow teams to shoot three-pointers heavily but contest well. They are highly susceptible to scoring inside the arc.
- In order to beat the Wizards, the Magic will have to slow big man Kristaps Porzingis. He is scoring team leading figures of 23.2 points per game, 8.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. Over the past 2 weeks (6 games) his scoring is higher than the season average at 27.2 per game.
- Paolo Banchero continues to lead the Magic scorers with 19.9 points per game. He is followed by Franz Wagner (18.8), Wendell Carter Jr (15.6), Markelle Fultz (13.9) and Cole Anthony (12.8).
One To Watch From The Wizards As The Magic Go To Washington
- With two significant absences and a doubt to a third Washington will be looking to small forward Deni Avdija to continue his recent run of production. Over the past two weeks Avdija has lead Washington in rebounding and blocks per game. His points production at 15.8 and assists of 5.5 per game have become invaluable to the team as they attempted to chase down Chicago for the 10th seed. He is producing a career year in almost every statistical category.