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The Magic Are In Atlanta Hunting For The Hawks

  • Today sees the regular season at its half way point for Orlando and the Magic are in Atlanta hunting for the Hawks.

Regular Season Game 41 – Orlando Magic vs Atlanta Hawks 

  • Venue – State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
  • U.K. tip time is 12:30am, which is 7:30pm in Orlando and Atlanta.
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will again need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

  • Regular Season Record: 22-18
  • Run: Won 1 and are 4-6 in the last 10 played.
  • Home Record 13-5 (13-4 in the Kia Center; one “home court” loss was in Mexico City)
  • Road Record 9-13
  • Standing: 8th in the East 
  • Points Per GameFor 112.2 Against 111.2
  • RatingOffensive 24th Defensive 2nd

Last Time Out – vs The New York Knicks

  • A 98-94 road win for Orlando in the Madison Square Garden over the New York Knicks was built on grit and determination. The Magic defence was immaculate for long stretches, allowing Orlando to hang around on difficult shooting night (39.8%).
  • This was a team effort. Whether that was Markelle Fultz making assists or Goga Bitadze grabbing rebounds everyone played their part.
  • The clutch win, saw the Magic take the final frame by nine points. The Knicks came up empty on 10 of their last 12 shots from open play, also failing to make 3 key free throws late.
  • The Knicks led for the vast majority of the night, their largest lead being 11 points.
  • Cole Anthony boosted Orlando in the final quarter, he scored or assisted on 15 of the Magic’s 25 points in that period. Cole finished with 15 points, as did Chuma Okeke making his sixth straight start.
  • Orlando got back to their strength, outscoring New York 52-36 in the paint. Eight turnovers for the game it tied for the second fewest for the Magic this season.
  • Without Jalen Brunson the Knicks relied heavily on Julius Randle and OG Anunoby. Randle was met with tenacity by Jonathan Isaac, reminding everyone what he offers when fit.
  • Paolo Banchero led the Magic as he recorded 20 points again. 
  • Coming off the bench, Wendell Carter Jr returned to the team having missed the last 5 games. He played 19 minutes, had a solid performance all-round for 17 points (7-of-11 floor shooting). 
  • The starting unit was again Jalen Suggs, Caleb Houstan, Chuma Okeke, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze.
  • From the bench came Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr, Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz and Joe Ingles.
  • Moritz Wagner, Anthony Black, Trevelin Queen and Admiral Schofield were available but did not feature.

Tonight

  • Franz Wagner (ankle) and Gary Harris (calf) are listed as out
  • Jett Howard remains out on a G League assignment.
  • Kevon Harris is listed as out, being a Coach’s decision.
  • With again having personnel available Coach Mosley will be able to evaluate his starting group. It is possible we see some more recognised starters at the opening tip. Alternatively the Coach could take the view that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and run with the same group again. On a night where the Magic are in Atlanta hunting for the Hawks it is a good problem to have.

The Atlanta Hawks

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 16-23 Run: Won 1 and are 4-6 in the last 10 played.
  • Standing: 11th in the East
  • Points Per GameFor 121.3 Against 123.5
  • RatingOffensive 8th Defensive 27th
  • These two teams met on January 7th. Since then the Hawks have a 2-3 record and statistically little has changed.
  • At home the Hawks are at a 7-11 record.
  • No team shoots the ball more per game than the Hawks do. On average they take 94 shots, with a shade over 38 of those coming from three-point-range. They make almost 44 of those shots, with roughly 14 being on the three.
  • They lead the league in offensive rebounds and shoot the sixth most free throws per game.
  • However the Atlanta defence has been relatively ineffective all season.
  • Trae Young continues to be a threat. He is top 10 in so many categories, including 8th with 27.5 points per game, second with 10.9 assists per game, 9th with 1.4 steals per game.
  • Scoring comes from the many in Atlanta. Aside from Trae Young there is Dejounte Murray (20.8), Bogdan Bogdanovich (16.9), Jalen Johnson (15), De’Andre Hunter (14.9), Saddiq Bey (13) and Clint Capella (11.4)
  • Besides the double digit scoring Clint Capella is again a dominant shot blocker and rebounder. He leads the league in offensive rebound categories.

Last Time Out For The Hawks

  • Last time out the Hawks took a home court win over the San Antonio Spurs by 99-109. 
  • The Hawks led 34-69 at the half but the Spurs came back hard in the third period, outscoring Atlanta by 15. Despite winning the final frame by 32-22 the Spurs had too much of a target to chase.
  • As is so often the case it was all about the Hawks starting 5, all hitting double digit scoring. Trae Young led the team with 36 point (including 6-11 from the three) and a 13 assist double-double. Dejounte Murray, Jalen Johnson and Clint Capella all had point/rebound double-doubles.
  • The starting 5 was Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, Saddiq Bey, Jalen Johnson, Clint Capella
  • From the bench came Bogdan Bogdanovich, Onyeka Okongwu, Garrison Mathews and Trent Forrest.
  • Bruno Fernando, AJ Griffin and Seth Lundy and Patty Mills were available but did not play. 
  • Wesley Matthews, Kobe Bufkin, Mouhamed Gueye, De’Andre Hunter and Vit Krejci were all listed as inactive.

Tonight

  • The Hawks have 4 players listed as out being Wesley Matthews, Mouhamed Gueye, De’Andre Hunter and Vit Krejci. 
  • Rookie Kobe Bufkin, the number 15 pick in this season’s draft has only appeared twice all season (both in the opening 5 games of the schedule). Bufkin played only during the end of game mop-up time. In those games he missed all three of his shots from the field, scoring his first career point on a free throw. On November 2nd he fractured a thumb in practice and was expected to miss 8-10 weeks. There has been no update on his fitness since but he is not on their latest injury report.
  • Expect that Coach Quin Snyder will run again with the same starting five and core bench group.

Head-To-Head With The Atlanta Hawks  

  • In 133 regular season games played the score stands at 63-70 to Atlanta.
  • Over the last two seasons the series has been taken 3-1 by the Atlanta Hawks. 
  • The Magic have only won 3 of the last 13 encounters.
  • The last time Orlando won a series was season 2018-19 (taking it 4-0).
  • This is the third meeting of 4 this season. As part of the NBA’s Global Games the Magic travelled to Mexico City for a home fixture against the Atlanta Hawks. In a tight, hard fought game Orlando came away defeated by 120-119. The second meeting was on January 7th where in overtime the Magic took a home court 110-117 win. 

A Final Thought As The Magic Are In Atlanta Hunting For The Hawks

  • A win tonight for Orlando would see this 4-game road trip finish at a 2-2 record. Getting a win will not be easy, but the team are in a better position personnel wise than when the trip began. 
  • So far this season both fixtures have been close hard fought affairs. Tonight may be no different.
  • Atlanta are in the bottom 4 of the league for opposition scoring points from fast breaks, in the paint and second chance opportunities. For Orlando these are key areas to try and exploit on the offensive side, two being areas of strength for the Magic.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!