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Orlando Are Home For The Visit Of Phoenix

  • Tonight Orlando are home for the visit of Phoenix, a star filled Suns team will be a challenge on the first night of a tough back-to-back. For the Magic this is a single home game before hitting the road for the next 5. 

Regular Season Game 46 – Phoenix Suns vs Orlando Magic

  • Venue – Kia Center, Orlando, Florida 
  • U.K. tip time is 11pm, which is 6pm in Orlando. 
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will again need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 23-22
  • Run: Lost 2 and are 3-7 in the last 10 played.
  • Home Record 14-7 (14-6 in the Kia Center; one “home court” loss was in Mexico City)
  • Road Record 9-15
  • Standing: 8th in the East 
  • Points Per GameFor 111.3 Against 111.1
  • RatingOffensive 24th Defensive 5th
  • Looking at back-to-back games this season, the Magic are fairing very similarly to last so far.
    • This Season – First Night 4-5 : Second Night 2-7
    • Last Season – First Night 6-7 : Second Night 1-12

Last Time Out For Orlando: vs The Memphis Grizzlies 

  • A full strength Orlando lost on the road to an injury decimated Memphis Grizzlies by 106-107.
  • On the final possession the Magic inbounded the ball with a little under 5 seconds remaining, one down and in the bonus. Paolo Banchero being double-teamed (including by the current Defensive Player Of The Year Jaren Jackson Jr) found a wide-open Joe Ingles on the left wing. Unfortunately his 3-point attempt rimmed out at the buzzer. 
  • Debate rages amongst Magic if this was the right play, it was certainly a great look. However Ingles had not shot the ball well all game, had just subbed into the game for this possession but was feet set and ready.
  • For me the game should never have come down to this moment. A familiar refrain of missed free throws, too many empty possessions, poor shooting from three (9-of-34) and repeatedly turning the ball over.
  • Paolo Banchero led Orlando with 27 points, scoring 12 of those in the fourth quarter. Wendell Carter Jr scored 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field, while Franz Wagner put up 18 points.
  • The starting unit was Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • From the bench came Anthony Black, Jonathan Isaac, Joe Ingles, Trevelin Queen, Cole Anthony and Moritz Wagner.
  • Caleb Houstan, Chuma Okeke, Goga Bitadze and Admiral Schofield were available but did not play.

Tonight

  • Jalen Suggs exited at the 7:35 mark of the first quarter following a collision and did not return due to a bruised left knee against Memphis. He is not on the injury list for tonight.
  • Gary Harris (calf) is again listed as out for the 12th consecutive game.
  • Jett Howard is unavailable on G-League assignment again.
  • Kevon Harris is listed as out, simply as being “G-League two-way”.
  • Therefore, Coach Mosley could again use his preferred starting option. 
  • As this is the first game on a back-to-back it is likely that Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac will miss one or the other as part of their injury management plans.

The Phoenix Suns

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 26-19 Run: Lost 1 and are at 7-3 in the last 10 played.
  • Standing: 6th in the West 
  • Points Per GameFor 116.8 Against 114.5
  • RatingOffensive 9th Defensive 16th
  • On the road the Suns have a 12-8 record.
  • Phoenix have a familiar face at the helm, ex Magic coach Frank Vogel is in his first year with the team. Phoenix limit opponent rebounding, are top 10 in blocks, get to free throw line often and shoot it efficiently from there. They continue to turn the ball over at a high rate per game, which does lead to scoring opportunities for their opponents.
  • The Suns limit opponents second chance scoring (13.7 ppg, ranking 12th), which is a shade less than Orlando do (13 ppg, ranking 6th). 
  • This team is stacked with scorers and star power. Kevin Durant (28.8 ppg), Devin Booker (28.2 ppg) and Bradley Beal (17.8 ppg) can all handle the ball and create their own shot. Grayson Allen is a tough defender who scores effectively (13.6 ppg) and Eric Gordon (12.5 ppg) can both be lethal from range. Jusuf Nurkic (11.6 ppg) is a strong man to have at centre.

Last Time Out For Phoenix 

  • The Suns took a 131-133-119 loss to the Indiana Pacers on the 26th January. Phoenix put up 40, 40 and 34 in the opening three quarters. A dismal 17 points in the final period of the game saw Phoenix outscored by the Pacers to the tune of 11 points.
  • Devin Booker led the team with a massive 62 points (making 22-of-37 shots including 6-of-12 from three).
  • Kevin Durant put up 20 points, Bradley Beal 12, Grayson Allen 11 and the bench was led with 14 from Eric Gordon.
  • Starting 5 – Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Grayson Allen, Kevin Durant, Jusuf Nurkic.
  • From the bench came Eric Gordon, Drew Eubanks Josh Okogie, Chimezie Metu and Keita Bates-Diop.
  • Jordan Goodwin, Nassir Little, Yuta Watanabe, Bol Bol, Udoke Azubuike, Saben Lee, Damion Lee and Theo Maledon but did not play either through injury or coaching decisions.

Tonight

  • Damion Lee (knee) and Bol Bol (foot) are both confirmed as being out.
  • Bradley Beal (nose) and Jusuf Nurkic (thumb) are both day-to-day and questionable.
  • If Vogel loses both Beal and Nurkic he has two big gaps to fill in on his starting unit. 

Head-To-Head With The Phoenix Suns 

  • In 68 regular season games played the score stands at 27-41 to Phoenix.
  • On New Years Eve a hard fought game in Phoenix saw to the Magic fall to a loss by 107-112. Unfortunately Orlando’s shooting went cold in the final quarter, missing multiple open looks to maintain or retake a small lead that had been secured, after having come back from as many as 16 points down.
  • Last season saw the series split at 1-1, Orlando winning their home game in November 2022.

Orlando Are Home For The Visit Of Phoenix: Our Final Thought

  • Not over reacting to the star power scoring of Booker and Durant is a must whilst trying to restrict the impact that these two can have on a game. Orlando must be aware and maintain position on the multiple players that Phoenix have who are more than capable of making big shots.
  • Perhaps for Orlando a bigger battle will be the mental one. Multiple losses in close games, that has seen repeated turnovers, poor shooting and missed opportunities has to be sapping confidence. No one can pretend that this recent run of games has at time been anything but both difficult and disappointing to watch. Communication and a unity between the Magic players will be essential to break out of this slump. In keeping their defensive discipline and work ethic the team is still a tough prospect for any opponent.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!