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The Magic Set To Battle The Boston Celtics

  • Tonight is the final In Season Tournament group game for Orlando, with the Magic set to battle the Boston Celtics. This game will go a long way to determining who will progress from the Eastern Conference Group C into the next round of the inaugural tournament. 

Regular Season Game 16 / In-Season Tournament Game 4 – Boston Celtics vs Orlando Magic

  • Venue – The Amway Center, Orlando, Florida 
  • U.K. tip time is 7:30pm, which is 2:30pm for our friends in Orlando. 
  • To watch here in the U.K. there will be two ways tonight. As always you can subscribe to the NBA League Pass. Alternatively the game is being carried by TNT Sports 3, again it requires you to be subscribed to the channel. 

Orlando Magic 

  • Regular Season Record: 10-5 Run: won 5
  • In-Season Tournament Record: 2-1 Points Differential: plus 5
  • Home Record 5-2 Road Record 5-3
  • Standing: tied 2nd in the East (2nd to 5th with Milwaukee, Miami and Philadelphia)
  • Points Per GameFor 111.5 (22nd) Against 107.5 (5th)
  • RatingOffensive 22nd Defensive 2nd
  • The Magic have jumped in the offensive categories. The team remain first in the league for free throws attempted and are 4th in those made, converting 319 of 418 attempts this season. They lead the league in points off of turnovers and in second chance points. In that final category Orlando are helped by being 8th in making offensive rebounds. 
  • Onto defensive categories where Orlando are continuing to excel. The Magic are 2nd for steals made per game. The intensity of our defensive pressure sees our opponents turn the ball over against us at the highest rate in the league. The Magic are conceding the third fewest total field goal attempts, opponent offensive rebounds, opponent defensive rebounds, second fewest total rebounds and assists. They are also tied 2nd with the fewest opponent second chance points and top 10 for opponent points in the paint.
  • Scoring is being led by Paolo Banchero with second with 19.4 ppg. Franz Wagner is a close second with 19. Cole Anthony leads the bench in scoring (also third on the team) with 13.9 points per game.
  • Paolo Banchero is also the team leader for assists (4.3) per game. Jalen Suggs is the team leader for steals per game at 2 per game (that figure is the 4th best but his steal percentage is the best in the league). Goga Bitadze is the team leader for blocks with 1.4 per game (12th in the NBA).

Last Games

Since our last preview the Magic have played two games. Orlando took two home court victories on a back-to-back. 

Toronto Raptors 

  • In our third In Season Tournament game Orlando produced another stunning performance. The Magic beat the Toronto Raptors by 107-126, leading by as many as 27.
  • Jalen Suggs brought an incredible energy to the Amway. His 3-pointer broke a 4-4 tie in the first two minutes, that put the Magic ahead and we stayed there the rest of the way. His defence set the tone for the rest of the team. He finished with 18 points.
  • Paolo Banchero led the way with 25 points, his sixth 20-plus-point performance so far this season. Franz Wagner had 17 and Cole Anthony finished with 15. Goga Bitadze’s contribution was again significant, 6 assists and 5 blocks as he battled Poetl. 
  • The basketball played by Orlando was at times beautiful to watch. The fluid ball movement saw a season-high 31 assists, including a season-best 10 of them from Cole Anthony to complete a double-double.
  • The outstanding Orlando defence saw Toronto held to just 9 fast break points and a mere 36 points in the paint. Teams do not do that to the Raptors. Throw in that the Magic had 12 steals and 8 blocks and the stats confirm what the eye saw on the night.
  • The starting unit was Anthony Black, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze.
  • From the bench the core minutes were again for Cole Anthony, Gary Harris, Jonathan Isaac, Moe Wagner and Joe Ingles. Chuma Okeke, Caleb Houstan and Admiral Schofield again got cameo minutes.
  • The Magic had 21 assists, 42 rebounds,. Of the 42 free throws attempts, Orlando made 35 (83.3%).

The Denver Nuggets

  • The defending NBA champions, the Denver Nuggets rolled into the Amway Center and left beaten by 119-124. 
  • The game wasn’t a pretty affair, it was a hard fought physical battle. Grit and determination were needed to get the Magic’s 5th straight win.
  • A 42 point final quarter for Orlando saw the job done. Paolo Banchero hit a three with under two minutes remaining to give the Magic a lead that they would maintain to the buzzer. 
  • Orlando stayed resilient as the pressure built. Denver played the foul game as they tried to draw level with limited time remaining. Goga Bitadze, Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner hit six straight free throws in the final 14 seconds to seal the win.
  • Franz Wagner was the leading scorer for the Magic, tallying 24 of his 27 points in the second half. Paolo Banchero finished with 23 points, going 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Cole Anthony was on fire, leading the bench with 20 of its 58 points. The Magic bench easily winning the battle of the second units.
  • The Magic shot a season-best 54.3 percent from the field and made 26 of their 30 free throws. They further made 27 assists, 9 steals and 7 blocks. 
  • The starting unit was Anthony Black, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze.
  • From the bench the core minutes were again for Cole Anthony, Gary Harris, Jonathan Isaac, Moe Wagner and Joe Ingles


  • There is no change to the Magic injury report. Markelle Fultz remains out due to a left knee injury. Wendell Carter Jr is due to soon be re-evaluated after surgery at the start of November on a fractured left hand middle finger. He could remain out until the new year.
  • Jett Howard has been assigned to our G-League squad, the Osceola Magic. Therefore he is unavailable as is Trevelin Queen (two-way).
  • With the Magic set to battle the Boston Celtics it is hard to see there being any rotation changes for this match, which is effectively a win or go home for Orlando. 

The Boston Celtics

A Quick Look Back

  • Last season was a strong 57-25 record and they finished 2nd in the East. The playoffs saw wins over the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers but they were unconvincing. The Celtics dream of an 18th championship was over after losing game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final to the Miami Heat in Boston.
  • The summer saw a mini-rebuild executed. Two key players came in, being Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis and two went out in the shape of Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III. Other pick ups included Svi Mykhailiuk, Lamar Stevens and Oshae Brissett.

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 12-3 Run: won 1
  • In-Season Tournament Record: 2-0 Points Differential: plus 17
  • Standing: 1st in the East (with the NBA’s best record)
  • Points Per GameFor 117.3 (8th) Against 107.2 (4th)
  • RatingOffensive 6th Defensive 3rd
  • Be under no illusion this team are good on both ends of the floor. They don’t foul a lot or turn the ball over, are the third best in total rebounds and are the top defensive rebounding team. They shoot the three ball the most in the league, making the second most (16 makes from 43.7 attempts per game). They do not have a main focus on attacking the rim but are lethal when they go there.
  • Jayson Tatum is putting together a brilliant season so far. A couple of highlight numbers are that he has scored 418 points this season (5th most in the league), is averaging 27.9 per game (7th) and is third in defensive rebounds. 
  • Kristaps Porzingis is proving why the Celtics moved to get him. He is scoring 19.6 points per game, blocking shots for fun (8th in both made and per game) and is shooting 71% on the 2-point field goal. Along with Tatum he is top 20 in the NBA for free throws made. 
  • Jaylen Brown is also scoring freely, 21.6 points per game.

Last Time Out For The Celtics

  • Two nights ago the Celtics took a home court 116-119 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. 
  • The Celtics held a 21-point lead in the first half and never trailed. They held that a double-digit lead until the Bucks charged back in the final two minutes, cutting the deficit to 114-111. 
  • Tatum played through an illness to get a 23 point, 11 rebounds double-double. He made the key free throws in the final seconds to secure the win.
  • Jaylen Brown had 26 points and 8 assists, Porzingis 21 points and Derrick White 13. 
  • Starting 5 – Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Kristaps Porzingis
  • Al Horford, Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser were the only three to come from the bench.
  • Dalano Banton, Svi Mykhailiuk, Lamar Stevens and Oshae Brissett were available but did not play. 


  • The Celtics have no injury concerns. All three of their two-way players are unavailable on G-League assignment.
  • Expect the same units to play for Boston as did in their last outing against the Bucks. They do not vary things except through injury.

Head-To-Head With The Boston Celtics 

  • In 127 regular season games played and the score stands at 54-73 to the Celtics.
  • The Magic are on a 3 game streak over Boston. Last season was a series 3-1 win for Orlando, with Boston winning a hard fought and close game on opening night in Orlando.
  • That opening night win last season was the Celtics 10th straight over Orlando, having swept them the three seasons prior 0-3. 
  • Orlando had won the 2018-19 season 3-0 prior to that losing streak.

A Final Thought With The Magic Set To Battle The Boston Celtics

  • Besides being a regular season game this is an in-season tournament fixture. That means the new look court in the Amway and hopefully another raucous atmosphere. 
  • For both teams this is must win game and the winning margin could be crucial in the final reckoning. Group C is still up for grabs.
  • What the Magic are doing is a team effort. Everyone is understanding their defensive responsibilities and putting relentless effort into that facet of the game. Against Denver 9 Magic players scored in the final quarter. To beat Boston the Magic will need that same unity, work ethic and strength.
  • Something Orlando are doing effectively is making it challenging for the opposing “star player” to get anything. Take the Denver game, yes Jokic got a triple double but he was made to work for everything. In defending the star the Magic are not overreacting or over-helping. That discipline is therefore not allowing other scoring threats to get a cheap 3 pointer.
  • Paolo is a threat to teams now not just at the rim. Last season’s Rookie of the Year shot 4 of 5 from behind the arc against Denver. His season percentage from the three is now up to 45.4%. He shot 29.8% on 3s last season.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview