The Magic seek a win in New York tonight. The season opening has seen Orlando on the wrong end of two heavy defeats, including to the Knicks.
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).
The Match Up With New York
Orlando start the season with a losing 0-2 record. An early look at the Eastern Conference standings sees the Magic bottom, tied with Detroit and Boston.
The New York Knicks by contrast have a 2-0 winning start. Sitting second in the East behind Chicago but having played a game less the Knicks have carried their preseason form forwards.
Both teams last played on Friday night in the Amway Center. The Knicks ran out with a comprehensive victory by 121-96.
The Knicks hit the court with some flowing basketball, developing a lead on the back of Kemba Walker’s three point shooting. Evan Fournier, Julius Randle, Obi Toppin, Derrick Rose, Alec Burks and Immanuel Quickley all made big contributions on a stellar shooting performance from the Knicks. By the half a 30 point lead had developed.
For Orlando the third quarter must give encouragement and confidence. Playing with energy, efficiency and determination the team saw a 34 point Knicks lead cut to 16 on the back of a 22-4 run.
Over all though Orlando had seen too many periods where promise was insufficient. Turnovers, poor defensive application and the all to familiar offensive struggle with ball movement and shot selection hampered their obvious enthusiasm for the game.
Franz Wagner showed movement and anticipation as he displayed his basketball IQ. By the close Franz had a team leading 16 points, including going 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. Jalen Suggs struggled to impact at times, especially shooting. By the close he had a respectable stat line of 14 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals. Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr continued to show the understanding and cooperation they are developing, as both recorded double-doubles. Bamba is amongst the NBA’s early leaders for blocks, now with 6 on the season.
Our Opponents – The New York Knicks
Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau used a starting unit of Kemba Walker (PG), Evan Fournier (SG), RJ Barrett (SF), Julius Randle (PF) and Mitchell Robinson (C) in the win over Orlando.
From the bench came Obi Toppin, Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, Alec Burks, Jericho Sims, Kevin Knox II, Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride and Wayne Seldon.
ESPN list Nerlans Noel as out with a sore knee. Taj Gibson is doubtful for personal reasons and Luka Samanic (Two-Way player) is out.
In Randle they have a team leader. He is capable of stuffing the stats sheet with points, rebounds and assists. Evan Fournier was signed to fill the void left by the departure of Reggie Bullock. Fournier as a Knick has scored 50 points in two games and sunk 10 threes. Perennial “Magic Killer” Kemba Walker has slotted into the starting point guard role comfortably with Derrick Rose shining from the bench.
They have depth, ability and are playing with belief and some swagger. Confidence will be high on the back of a franchise record of 24 made triples against Orlando.
Head-To-Head: The New York Knicks
For the Magic in New York results in recent games have not been favourable, Orlando losing the last 4 fixtures.
The teams met three times last season in what were mostly scrappy games. Orlando lost the series 2-1.
Across the 120 regular season games played the Magic lead 61-59. The teams have never met in the playoffs.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
At the time of writing ESPN list Orlando as having several injury concerns that will again see the Magic with just 10 available players.
Gary Harris is upgraded from out to questionable with a hamstring injury.
E’Twaun Moore remains out, diagnosed with a left sprained knee.
Chuma Okeke is also out with hip bruising.
Michael Carter-Williams is out after undergoing 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. Video now shows him moving freely in non-contact practice on the court.
The Orlando Lineup As The Magic Seek A Win In New York
Coach Mosely used the starting lineup in both games of Jalen Suggs (PG), Cole Anthony (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF) and Mo Bamba (C). That unit features a pair of rookies, a second year player and two entering their fourth NBA season.
This is likely to be the starting unit again tonight due to the injury issues present. If there is no change available from the bench will be Terrence Ross, Robin Lopez, Ignas Brazdeikis, Moe Wagner and RJ Hampton.
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 Magic Seek A Win In New York
Coach Jamahl Mosley wants a team built on energy and selfishness at its heart. Offence is to be based on the principles of pace, space and pass. Tonight that has to be present on a more consistent basis as the Magic seek a win in New York.
A win will be a big ask against a Knicks team in form. For many Magic fans as we focus on a season of development a stronger, more competitive game that avoids a third rout will be welcomed as improvement. However if the Magic can bring Coach Mosely’s vision into the game tonight as they did in Friday’s third quarter a first win of the season can be attained.
Let’s Go Magic!