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Orlando Are Back Home For The Grizzlies

Orlando are back home for the Grizzlies on the first night of a back-to-back and are looking to build on recent success. This will be the first meeting of the season between the two teams, seeing a lot of young talent on the court, potentially including All-Star Ja Morant.

The tip time from Orlando is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 10pm here in the UK (5pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando). To watch the game live or on demand in the UK there are two ways today. As always you can access the game with an active NBA League Pass 2021/22 subscription. Alternatively, you can watch on Sky Sports Mix with an active subscription.

Here is our guide to tonight’s exciting match-up.

Last Games And Season Records.

The Orlando Magic 

Wednesday 2nd February – Orlando Magic 119 – 118 Indiana Pacers

Magic Top Performances – Wendell Carter Jr led Orlando again in scoring with a double-double of 19 points and a career high 18 rebounds. Franz Wagner kept the Magic scoreboard ticking with 19 points, creating his own shot with impressive footwork and balance. Gary Harris brought his experience down the stretch, nailing two huge baskets to tie the game, producing 22 points, 5 assists and 2 steals from the bench. Cole Anthony again struggled shooting but finished with 15 points. It was another inefficient shooting night, making a shade over 13% from the field. However he held his nerve to make the 4 game winning free throws in the final seconds. He also added 8 assists. Jalen Suggs poured in 12 points and 8 assists. Robin Lopez played for 5 minutes to give Wendell a rest and hit 3 of 4 shots.

Orlando has a record of 12 wins and 41 losses. The Magic are still sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and hold the worst record in the NBA. However in the last 10 games played the Magic have won 5. The home record stands at 5 wins of 23 games played, whilst on the road it is 7 wins in 30 played. In points per game the Magic are scoring 103.1 whilst conceding 110.8. The efficiency rating for the Magic remains 28th on offence and 21st defensively.

The Memphis Grizzlies

Wednesday 2nd February – Memphis Grizzles 120 – 108 New York Knicks

Jaren Jackson Jr led the team in scoring with a 26 points and 10 rebound double-double. Ja Morant had 23 points and 9 assists. Ziaire Williams had 21 points, De’Anthony Melton scored 14 and Desmond Bane 13.

Memphis have a record of 35 wins and 18 losses, which puts them 3rd in the Western Conference. Of the last 10 games played they have won 6. Their home record stands at 19 wins of 28 games played, which is almost identical to the road record of 17 wins in 26 games. In points per game the Grizzlies score 112.2 whilst conceding 108.4, rating 8th on offence and 7th defensively.

Head-To-Head – The Memphis Grizzlies

In 49 regular season games played the score stands at 25-24 in Orlando’s favour.

This is the first meeting of the season. Last season was split 1-1, each team winning on home court.

Orlando saw success by sweeping the series 2-0 the previous season. The Magic have won 7 of last the 10 games played, having lost on home court to Memphis last in January 2015. A Magic win on April 3rd 2016 broke a 9 game winning streak for Memphis.

These two teams have never met in the playoffs.

Our Opponents – The Memphis Grizzlies

Led by the young duo of All-Star Ja Morant and second year Desmond Bane the Grizzlies are the surprise team in the West. Through the season Coach Taylor Jenkins has been putting together a nice set of wins built on fast paced attacking basketball. They do not shoot the three a lot but attack the paint, ranking number one in field goals attempted. They are also top rated for offensive rebounds, steals and blocks made. And don’t expect them to turn the ball over a lot either!

Starting Unit – Ja Morant (PG), Desmond Bane (SG), Jaren Jackson Jr (SF), Ziaire Williams (PF), Steven Adams (C)

Bench Unit – Brandon Clarke, De’Anthony Melton, Kyle Anderson, Tyus Jones, John Konchar, Jarrett Culver (DNP), Xavier Tilman (DNP), Killian Tillie (DNP) and Santie Aldama (DNP).

Dillon Brooks is their only definite injury absence, however Ja Morant is day-to-day and questionable with a foot injury.

The Orlando Magic Injury Report

As I write there has not been an update from the Magic yet so move along, nothing new to see here!

ESPN continues to show 5 absences:

RJ Hampton is out with a left knee injury.

Markelle Fultz is out indefinitely with no public timeline for his return.

E’Twaun Moore remains out with a sprained left knee. 

Michael Carter-Williams is out after surgery to repair his left ankle ligament.

Jonathan Isaac continues to be out as he rehabilitates the repaired left knee. There remains no public timeline for his return to the court.

The Magic Lineup As Orlando Are Back Home For The Grizzlies

On the first night of a home court back-to-back coach Jamahl Mosely is unlikely to change his core unit and basic bench rotations.

Magic Starting Lineup – Cole Anthony (PG), Jalen Suggs (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF), Mo Bamba (C)

Magic Bench Unit – Gary HarrisTerrence RossChuma OkekeMoe WagnerAdmiral SchofieldRobin LopezIgnas Brazdeikis (DNP)

Final Thoughts As Orlando Are Back Home For The Grizzlies

No apology for starting with this, as here comes the Franz Wagner scoring statistic again. The 19 points he scored against Indiana is 45th game he achieved a score of double figures in, having now played 53 NBA games. He has hit 20-points or more on 13 of those occasions. That statistic shows how important he has become for Orlando and the threat he poses to any opposition team. Scoring is not the only facet to his game. Franz is already a stand out defensive player and can pick out a pass.

If Ja Morant does not make the game he is a huge hole to plug for Memphis. Ja is a walking highlight reel and sits fifth in the NBA for points per game at 26.3. He leads the team in points, points per game, assists, along with free throws attempted and made.

Anything around the rim will be a key battleground that could decide the game. Steven Adams and Wendell Carter Jr are two of the NBA’s elite rebounders. Wendell ranks 12th for total rebounds per game, Adams leads the NBA on the offensive glass. Jaren Jackson Jr leads the NBA in total blocks and is second for blocks per game, whilst Mo Bamba is fifth in both categories.

How Orlando hold onto their possession will be of the utmost importance for a team prone to live ball turnovers. Memphis as already mentioned are top rated for forcing opponent turnovers and making steals.

Orlando have had much improved form since the turn of the year. Orlando are back home for the Grizzlies, they will be fighting all out to get a win and show how far they have come.

Lets Go Magic!