The Wizards visit the Magic Kingdom tonight. Orlando close out this five game homestand looking to get back to winning ways on Game Day 13.
The tip time is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 12 midnight here in the UK (7:00pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
The Matchup For Game Day 13 As The Wizards Visit The Magic Kingdom
Last time out Orlando were crushed by the Brooklyn Nets, a score of 123-90. A 33 point defeat for the Magic in the Amway Center was sealed by a poor shooting night, especially from deep. Making only 12% with the three ball, on 4 of 33 shooting was compounded by 17 turnovers. The Magic did play some strong defence against the Nets but ran into an offensive masterclass from Kevin Durant.
The Wizards are now on a 3 game winning streak, after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 97-94 on Wednesday night. Performances from Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma, Bradley Beal and Spencer Dinwiddie led the Wizards home. Kyle Kuzma hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left as the Washington Wizards scored the final five points to take the victory.
Records For The Season
Orlando have dropped to a 3-9 losing record that sees them remain 14th in the Eastern Conference. Across the NBA only Detroit, Houston and New Orleans have worse records. Surprisingly to many, the Wizards 8-3 winning record sees them sit atop of the Eastern Conference. Only Golden State hold a better record.
For the Magic the issues with an inconsistent offence and excessive turnovers continues. Whilst this is only to be expected with a team in such an early stage of development it would be good to see some steady improvement. Orlando scoring average took a dip to just 99.7 points per game. The points conceded has also worsened to an average of 109.1 points per game. The Magic still rank in the bottom five for NBA teams in offence, defence, steals, turnovers, two-pointers made, two-pointers attempted and our over all field goal percentage. They also rank badly for opposition offensive rebounds, which Orlando must improve to reduce the scores on second chances.
Washington have the 4th best defensive rating in the NBA, whilst conceding 104.8 points per game. They lead the league in defensive rebounding and rate highly for blocks. They also defend the 3 pointer well and conceding points inside the 2 point arc. Offensively they have a ranking just outside the top 10, scoring 109.1 points per game. For the most part they play a slow paced offence, developing their opportunities and using the shot clock. The three point shot is not a strength in terms of number of attempts but they make a league average 33.4%. Their strength is interior offence, where they are dominating teams. Washington also get to the foul line a lot and make 80% of those attempts.
Head-To-Head – The Washington Wizards
The all time regular season record sees 127 games played, with the Magic ahead 73-54.
Last season the Magic took the series over the Wizards by 2-1. Washington won the final meeting of the season to break an Orlando winning streak of 6 straight meetings between the teams. That victory was in the Amway Center and was the first time Washington had won on our home court since January 25th 2019.
These two teams have never met in the playoffs.
Our Opponents – The Washington Wizards
Washington are the surprise story of the NBA so far this season. Rookie coach Wes Unseld has made a hot start with his team, being assisted by former Magic assistant coach Pat Delany.
As I write the Washington are listed on ESPN as having some significant injury issues. Most impactful is the loss of Bradley Beal (SG) for personal reasons. Davis Bertans (SF), Rui Hachimura (PF) and Thomas Bryant (C) are all out.
Due to the Beal absence there will be a change to the Wizards’ starting unit from their victory in Cleveland. That game saw starters being Spencer Dinwiddie (PG), Bradley Beal (SG), Kyle Kuzma (PF), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SF) and Daniel Gafford (C).
From the bench came Montrezl Harrell, Raul Neto, Deni Avdija, Cory Kispert and Aaron Holiday.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
At the time of writing ESPN shows Orlando as having the same issues.
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 Orlando Lineup As The Wizards Visit The Magic Kingdom
Coach Mosely has benefited from continuity with the starting 5 and that should remain tonight. In all 12 games this season the team has been Jalen Suggs (PG), Cole Anthony (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF) and Mo Bamba (C) starting. This unit is still ranking amongst the best in the NBA.
Robin Lopez was available but did not feature.
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 Wizards Visit The Magic Kingdom
Orlando need to get a positive result to close the homestand. The schedule ahead for the Magic is potentially brutal and to take a win into that run would be of value. The absence of some important players for Washington is an obvious benefit to Orlando. However the Wizards are a team against whom the Magic regularly get a result.
Containing Montrezl Harrell will be a key to the game. The former Sixth Man of the Year is almost averaging a double-double this season with 18.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. His 1.2 blocks per game is strong as is his 64% shooting from the floor. Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr will both do battle with him, which should be entertaining to watch. Bamba will also be important protecting the rim and look to build on his season tally of 26 blocks (3rd in the NBA), which is an average of 2.2 per game (4th in the league).
The game is an opportunity for Orlando to build on some recent positives and to tackle some issues. They will still require discipline and focus against a strong and in form team.
Let’s Go Magic!