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The Magic At An Injury Hit Memphis

  • Tonight it is the Magic at an injury hit Memphis Grizzlies and after a few days break it sees Orlando seeking a win and a better performance. It is imperative that Orlando do not underestimate their opponent.

Regular Season Game 45 – Orlando Magic vs Memphis Grizzlies 

  • Venue – FedEx Center, Memphis, Tennessee 
  • U.K. tip time is 1am, which is 8pm in Orlando, and 7pm in Memphis. 
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will again need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

  • Regular Season Record: 23-21
  • Run: Lost 1 and are 4-6 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 9-14
  • Standing: 8th in the East 
  • Points Per GameFor 111.4 Against 111.2
  • RatingOffensive 24th Defensive 4th

Last Time Out – vs The Cleveland Cavaliers 

  • Two games on a back-to-back that were the complete antithesis of each other. 
  • On the first night against Miami we saw the real Magic basketball. Swarming, intense, energetic defence and the offence built on unselfish ball movement, attacking the paint and taking second chances. 
  • Against the Cavaliers on the second there was no energy, play was disjointed and the Magic were second best in every facet of the game by some distance. It led to a comprehensive defeat by 126-99 to Cleveland. 
  • The defeat was so comprehensive that neither team played any of their starting players in the entire fourth quarter.  
  • The Cavs game out fast and hit the Magic hard in the first quarter, not letting up until the white flag was waved by Orlando. 
  • Paolo Banchero led Orlando with 18 points and 6 assists. Franz Wagner scored 17 and Moe Wagner finished with 15. 
  • The starting unit was again Anthony Black, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • From the bench came Caleb Houstan, Chuma Okeke, Moritz Wagner, Joe Ingles, Trevelin Queen, Cole Anthony, Goga Bitadze and Admiral Schofield.
  • Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac were rested for injury management.

Tonight

  • Gary Harris (calf) is again listed as out for the 11th consecutive game.
  • Jett Howard is unavailable on G-League assignment again.
  • Kevon Harris is listed as out, simply as being “G-League two-way”.
  • Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac are again available to play
  • Therefore, Coach Mosley is likely to return to his preferred starting options. Expect Markelle Fultz to join Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr at the opening tip. Anthony Black and Jonathan Isaac return to the bench.

The Memphis Grizzlies

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 17-27 Run: Won 2 and are at 6-4 in the last 10 played.
  • Standing: 13th in the West 
  • Points Per GameFor 107.8 Against 112.9
  • RatingOffensive 30th Defensive 8th
  • Spare a thought for Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins as he and his squad are being severely tested so far this season. What hasn’t changed is that the team are showing a spirit and unity as they play through a horrendous injury crisis. 
  • At home Memphis have a 4-15 record, having been hugely better on the road (13-12).
  • Despite key injuries the Grizzlies have been picking up some good results of late. 
  • Defensively they are strong, restricting opponents shooting from inside the arc and making the third most blocks per game.
  • They rank poorly in all categories of rebounding. 
  • Aside from the number of three pointers shot per game and points off of turnovers it is hard to find a positive amongst their offensive play statistics. Last in points per game, field goals made, two point field goals made and many others trending in the bottom 5.
  • With three of their top five scorers out it is easy to see why they are having trouble getting points. The top scoring active players at this point are Jaren Jackson Jr (21.6 per game) and always a concern as a Magic fan is Luke Kennard (10.4).

Last Time Out For Memphis 

  • Their last outing was a 105-96 road win in Miami, over the Heat.
  • Six of the nine player rotation scored in double-digits. Rookie shooting guard Vince Williams Jr (the 47th over all pick) led all scorers with 25 points, including 5-of-6 from 3 point range. Following up was rookie power forward Gregory Jackson II (the 45th over all pick) from the bench with 17, making 4-of-6 with the three ball.
  • Starting 5 – Jacob Gilyard, Vince Williams Jr, John Konchar, David Roddy, Jaren Jackson Jr 
  • Gregory Jackson II, Scottie Pippin Jr, Xavier Tillman Sr and Ziaire Williams came from the bench.

Tonight

  • Strap in this may take a while! Ja Morant (shoulder), Des Bane (ankle), Marcus Smart (finger), Steven Adams (knee), Brandon Clarke (achilles), Derrick Rose (hamstring) and Jake LaRavia (ankle) are all out.
  • Santi Aldama (knee) is day-to-day and questionable.
  • Memphis will again run with what they have. 

Head-To-Head With The Grizzlies

  • This is the first meeting of the season. The game in Orlando comes on March 30th (game day 74).
  • In 53 regular season games played the score stands at 28-25 to Memphis.
  • The past two seasons have been taken 0-2 by Memphis, who are on a 4 game streak over the Magic.
  • Orlando last won in Memphis on March 10th 2020. That was also the last time that Orlando won the series, being the 2019-20 season. 

The Magic At An Injury Hit Memphis – A Final Thought

  • As Magic fans we have been through this situation that Memphis find themselves in. We have every sympathy with that difficulty.
  • However, sport is a result led concern and so for the Magic the task is to go out and beat what is in front of them.
  • At almost full strength this is perhaps an excellent opportunity for Orlando to move on from the diabolical performance against the Cavs. It is also a chance to get a result and set themselves up for a difficult back-to-back. On Sunday it is against the visiting Phoenix Suns and then Monday there is a trip to Dallas. The Dallas Mavericks game is the first of a 5 game road trip.
  • Going against some lesser established opponents in this Memphis squad, against players who could be playing out of position and taking their chance presents its own challenges.
  • The Magic must approach this game with focus and determination, you can not under any opponent. 

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