You are currently viewing The Magic End 2023 Playing The Suns

The Magic End 2023 Playing The Suns

  • Tonight the Magic end 2023 playing the Suns in Phoenix. For Orlando it is the start of a tough 4 game road trip West. The Magic have 4 games in 6 days facing Phoenix, Golden State, Sacramento (on a back-to-back) and Denver.

Regular Season Game 32 – Orlando Magic vs Phoenix Suns

  • Venue – Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona
  • U.K. tip time is 1am, which is 6pm in Phoenix and 8pm for our friends in Orlando.
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will again need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

  • Regular Season Record: 19-12
  • Run: won 1 and are 5-5 in the last 10 played.
  • Home Record 12-4 (12-3 in the Kia Center; the Atlanta “home court” loss was in Mexico City)
  • Road Record 7-8
  • Standing: 4th in the East 
  • Points Per GameFor 113 (22nd) Against 110.6 (5th)
  • RatingOffensive 23rd Defensive 2nd
  • This is the final difficult and intense trip for Orlando to face some of the best Western Conference teams. Once this is completed Orlando are on paper at least considered to have one of the four easiest remaining schedules. 
  • Last season going into game day 32 Orlando held an 11-20 record and two of these Western Conference trips remained. To this point that is an 8 win improvement on what was universally considered a difficult opening schedule. That is far from a bad 2023.

Last Time Out – vs New York Knicks

  • When the Knicks come into the Kia Center, Orlando two things are certain. The first is that there will be a lot of New York jersey wearing in our building and booing of our every touch. The second is that it will be a hard fought, bruising game. And so it proved to be. 
  • The Magic took a gritty attitude to the court to take the win by 108-117.
  • Orlando asserted their brand of physical basketball onto the game, which also happens to be the Knicks style as well in many ways. 
  • Two big forwards in Paolo Banchero and Julius Randle banged against each other in a battle of strength. 
  • Star Knicks guard Jalen Brunson was met with such constant pressure from both Anthony Black and Jalen Suggs that it has drawn praise from anyone who saw the game.
  • Neither team gave the other very much easily and at times it had the ferocity of a play off game. That physicality saw 69 free throws in the game, Orlando making 30 of their 40 attempts.
  • One stat that jumped out is how against one of the league’s best Orlando out-rebounded New York by 49-40.
  • Franz Wagner put up a season-best 32 points, along with 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 4 steals. Paolo Banchero scored 29, along with taking 10 rebounds for a double-double. Paolo further had 4 assists, a block and a steal. Jalen Suggs had 21 points and 6 assists. Goga Bitadze started and was crucial to the win, his constant effort included 13 points.
  • The starting unit was Anthony Black, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze.
  • From the bench came Cole Anthony, Moritz Wagner, Chuma Okeke and Caleb Houstan.

Tonight

  • Wendell Carter Jr (right knee tendinitis), Gary Harris (right calf strain) and Jonathan Isaac (right hamstring soreness) are listed as questionable. Markelle Fultz (left knee tendinitis) is also upgraded to questionable, after having missed the last 23 games.
  • Joe Ingles (left ankle sprain) is again confirmed as out.
  • Jett Howard is listed as out, again being on a G League assignment.
  • Finally, Kevon Harris is simply listed as “out – G League Two-Way”.
  • As the Magic end 2023 playing the Suns (or start 2024 depending upon where you are in the world) if Wendell is fit expect Coach Mosley to reinstate him with the starting unit. 5 tonight again. The question is also relevant for who starts at the point guard position if Markelle Fultz is fit to go. In many ways it is difficult to see how Fultz would start given the length of absence but that was also true of Wendell recently.

The Phoenix Suns 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 16-15 Run: Won 2 consecutively but are 4-6 in the last 10 played.
  • Standing: 8th in the West 
  • Points Per GameFor 115.5 (14th) Against 114.6 (16th)
  • RatingOffensive 12th Defensive 19th
  • Phoenix have a familiar face at the helm, ex Magic coach Frank Vogel is in his first year with the team. This team excel in limiting opponent rebounding, lead the league in blocks, get to free throw line often and shoot it efficiently from there. They do turnover the ball over at a high rate per game, which does lead to opportunities for their opponents.
  • The Suns limit opponents second chance scoring (13.2 ppg, ranking 8th), which is almost to the same level as Orlando do (13.1 ppg, ranking 7th).
  • At home the Suns are at 8-9. 
  • This team is stacked with scorers and star power. Kevin Durant (29.8 ppg), Devin Booker (27.4 ppg) and Bradley Beal (13.4 ppg) can all handle the ball and create their own shot. Eric Gordon can be lethal from range (14 ppg and hitting 41% from three). Jusuf Nurkic (12.4 ppg) is a strong man to have at centre. Grayson Allen is a tough defender who is scoring effectively also (13.2 ppg).

Last Time Out For Phoenix

  • At home the Suns took a 133-119 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Phoenix put up at least 30 points in every quarter of the game.
  • Devin Booker led the team with 35 points (making 5-of-7 from three).
  • Kevin Durant put up a 21 point, 11 assist double-double; whilst also making 3 blocks. 
  • Jusuf Nurkic also had a 24 point and 15 rebound double-double. 
  • Eric Gordon added a further 21 points from the bench, including making 7-of-12 from deep.
  • Bradley Beal has only played in 7 games this season but returned from injury for this one. He scored 6 points but dropped 7 assists.
  • Starting 5 – Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Grayson Allen, Kevin Durant, Jusuf Nurkic.
  • From the bench came Eric Gordon, Chimezie Metu, Saben Lee, Udoke Azubuike and Jordan Goodwin.
  • Bol Bol, Yuta Watanabe, Keita Bates-Diop, Drew Eubanks and Theo Maledon were available but did not play.

Tonight

  • Josh Okogie is listed as probable for the game. The shooting guard missed the win over Charlotte and has been sidelined for 6 of the last 8 with an ankle issue.
  • Nassir Little and Damion Lee are both out
  • It is not unreasonable to expect a little change from the Suns in their bench rotations. Though not featuring last time out Watanabe has played in most games this season when available. If Okogie is passed as fit he is also likely to feature.

Head-To-Head With The Phoenix Suns 

  • In 67 regular season games played the score stands at 27-40 to Phoenix.
  • Last season saw the series split at 1-1, Orlando winning their home game in November 2022.
  • Orlando have not won in Phoenix on their last 4 visits. The last road win for Orlando was on November 30th 2018, by 99-85. That win took the Magic to 4 straight wins and was the last time either team had any significant run against the other.

A Final Thought As The Magic End 2023 Playing The Suns

  • Stopping the Phoenix offensive efforts is key. Devin Booker has scored at least 20 points in each of the last 11 games. Kevin Durant’s three lowest scoring games this season are 16, 18 and 21 points. He has scored 25 points or more in each of the other 25 games he has played in. 
  • Phoenix are the epitome of a team where you can not over react to the stars at the expense of their so called role players. 
  • For Orlando; as is so often the case this game will be won or lost by the discipline and determination of the defensive play. If that is effective there will be ample opportunity to score against the Suns. 
  • As with against the Knicks it will once again be exciting to watch the battle between two exceptional power forwards. Be under no illusion that at this point of the season Paolo Banchero is playing at an All-Star level. In the last five game Paolo is averaging 25.8 ppg. 
  • For Franz Wagner that figure across the last 5 games is 27.4 ppg, having exploded from a minor dip in form.
  • The Magic are 9-11 against teams this season that are currently at .500 or above. It is 10-1 against teams that are presently below that mark.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

  • Here is the Let’s Talk Magic YouTube video preview as the Magic end 2023 playing the Suns in Phoenix.
  • So from the four of us at Let’s Talk Magic we wish you a very happy new year. We hope 2024 is full of success, good health and happiness.

GO MAGIC!