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The Magic Welcome The West Leading Timberwolves

  • Tonight a hard challenge awaits Orlando as the Magic welcome the West leading Timberwolves into the Kia Center. After this the Magic head out onto the road again.

Regular Season Game 37 – Minnesota Timberwolves vs Orlando Magic

  • Venue – Kia Center, Orlando, Florida 
  • U.K. tip time is 12 midnight, which is 7pm in in Orlando.
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will again need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

  • Regular Season Record: 21-15
  • Run: won 2 and are 5-5 in the last 10 played.
  • Home Record 13-4 (13-3 in the Kia Center; the Atlanta “home court” loss was in Mexico City)
  • Road Record 8-11
  • Standing: tied 4th in the East (tied 4th through 8th with Miami, Indiana, Cleveland and New York)
  • Points Per GameFor 113.9 (19th) Against 111.9 (11th)
  • RatingOffensive 22nd Defensive 4th
  • For this preview I’m going to start with a reminder of where this team was going into game day 37 last season. Our record was stood at 13-23. There had been 20 games decided by 10 points or less 8 wins and 13 defeats.
  • The Magic this season already have 8 more wins on the board. Rather than being an almost certain lottery bound team they are genuinely in the hunt for an automatic playoff berth. Both points per game scored and conceded are vastly improved figures. In the. 20 games the Magic have had so far this season that were decided by 10 points or less the record is 11 wins and 9 loses. 
  • It is clear that even in adversity (injury and scheduling) this team is learning how to win, not fearing the clutch moments. 

Last Time Out – vs Atlanta Hawks

  • A second overtime game of the season saw the undermanned Orlando Magic outlast the Atlanta Hawks to take a home court 110-117 win.
  • Once again there was no stopping Paolo Banchero as he put on a show in front of Tracy McGrady and Ryan Anderson. Paolo poured in a another double-double of 35 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Playing a point forward role he again showed why he must be included in the All-Star game. 
  • The Magic saw the return from illness of both Anthony Black and Goga Bitadze. Making his return also was Markelle Fultz, who played 15 minutes. It was his first action for 27 games (or since Nov. 9). 
  • Goga was a machine as he produced a 11 points and 14 rebound double-double. His rebounding on the offensive end saw him pull down 7 boards to create Orlando extra scoring opportunities. 
  • Much of Chuma Okeke’s work will not show in the box but his defensive efforts, particularly on Trae Young were exceptional.
  • Someone who has been growing in influence on the team is Caleb Houstan. The drafts of of 2021 and 2022 have netted the Magic Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Caleb. Houstan got his first start of the season and hit a career-best 25 points. This included going 7-of-14 from 3-point range.
  • Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony and Moe Wagner rounded out the double digit scoring.
  • The starting unit was Jalen Suggs, Caleb Houstan, Chuma Okeke, Paolo Banchero and Moritz Wagner.
  • From the bench came Cole Anthony, Anthony Black, Goga Bitadze, Markelle Fultz and Trevelin Queen.
  • Admiral Schofield was available but did not play.

Tonight

The Minnesota Timberwolves 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 25-10 Run: Lost 1 and are at 5-5 in the last 10 played.
  • Standing: 1st in the West 
  • Points Per GameFor 112.9 (22nd) Against 107.7 (1st)
  • RatingOffensive 19th Defensive 1st
  • On the road the TWolves have been strong, being at an 11-8 record.
  • This team is built on defence, particularly the defence of the three-point-line, blocks and rebounding.
  • Whilst not being the highest volume shooters Minnesota has one of the league’s best three-point and over all field goal percentages.
  • In our look at every team preseason we said that the TWolves needed for Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert to get the chemistry right. So far that has been the mark of this squad, great chemistry and good health. 
  • Gobert has been back to his exceptional best. He has the NBA’s best defensive rating and is top 5 in every statistic of rebounding. He is also top 10 in all block categories and also in field goal percentage. 
  • Their star man on offence is Anthony Edwards with 26.8 points per game. 
  • Karl Anthony Towns is staying healthy and proving effective, scoring 21.5 points per game and rebounding strongly.
  • Mike Conley is dishing assists as well as he has done throughout his career. He is also shooting at a field goal percentage that currently ties with his career best. 
  • Naz Reid is having an effective scoring season, leading the second unit in both points and rebounding.

Last Time Out For Minnesota 

  • Minnesota last played on January 7th, losing on the road to the Dallas Mavericks by 108-115. In a tight game Dallas led for almost 41 of the 48 minutes played. The other 7 minutes saw the TWolves lead in total for just 4 minutes.
  • Anthony Edwards led the team with 36 points, whilst the only other significant scoring contributions came from Karl-Anthony Towns with 24 points and Naz Reid (15 points).
  • The starting 5 was Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert.
  • From the bench came Naz Reid, Kyle Anderson, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jordan McClaughlin
  • Troy Brown Jr and Shake Milton amongst others were available but did not play. 

Tonight

  • There is only one injury for the visitors, which sees two-way player; Jovian Clark out.
  • Two-way players Leonard Miller and Josh Minott are also out being on G League assignment.
  • Expect that Minnesota will go with the same starting 5 as against Dallas, which when available has been their unit of choice.

Head-To-Head With The Minnesota Timberwolves 

  • In 67 regular season games played the score stands at 43-24 to Orlando.
  • Last seasons the series was split 1-1, with each team winning the road game. 4 of the last 6 series have been split, with Orlando winning the other two. The Wolves last took the series in season 2016-17.

A Final Thought As The Magic Welcome The West Leading Timberwolves

  • This is a far from easy task against a brilliant defensive team. Against the Wolves opponents are shooting just 44.7% from the field, the second-lowest figure in the league. They are also top 10 in both protecting the paint and limiting fast break points. 
  • Orlando are again undermanned and will seek to ride the momentum of two exhilarating wins.
  • It is probably beyond obvious to state that the Magic need another big night from Paolo Banchero to be in the competition. Over the last three games he is averaging 36.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.0 steals.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!