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The Orlando Magic Are Home To Face New Orleans

  • The Orlando Magic are home to face the New Orleans Pelicans in the Amway Centre for preseason game number 3.
  • U.K. tip time is midnight, that’s 7pm for our friends in Orlando.
  • To watch you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription. 

Orlando Magic 

The Magic Preseason So Far

  • It could hardly be going better. Solid performances, no injury concerns beyond the normal day-to-day niggles and a winning 2-0 record.
  • Orlando opened with a road win over tonight’s opponents by 122-105. A 108-105 road win over the Cleveland Cavaliers followed, the Magic led by 19 midway through the fourth quarter. 
  • Both the Cavs and Magic played their strongest rotations in the first half where teams and went toe-to-toe.
  • The starting 5 was Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr. The bench rotation during the first half was Anthony Black, Cole Anthony, Jonathan Isaac, Moritz Wagner and Joe Ingles making his Magic debut.
  • The first quarter closed tied at 31-31, Darius Garland having had a scoring eruption. By the half the Magic had built a double digit 63-51 lead. That half had seen the Magic contest perimeter shots, protect the paint, limit fouls and deflect passes at an amazing level. The defensive effort was such in the game that four-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell scored just 9 points (on 3-of-14 shooting) whilst playing a game-high 29 minutes!
  • Franz Wagner in 19 minutes played scored 18 points (6-of-7 overall shooting and 3-of-3 on 3-point shooting). 
  • Moe Wagner posted 14 points and Markelle Fultz 13. Paolo Banchero did not score easily (6 points) but dished out a team-high 6 assists, again playing just shy of 20 minutes. All the starters posted hugely positive plus/minus stats. 
  • Rookie watch – Anthony Black scored 4 points on 2-of-5 floor shooting, 4 rebounds, a steal and zero turnovers. His defensive work was solid, so please don’t just look at the box score when judging contributions. Jett Howard again put up 8 points, better efficiency as it was on 3-of-6 shooting.
  • As a team there were 6 blocks, 14 steals and 27 assists. They shot 44% from the field and 34.3% with the three. The Magic stats have been very consistent across the two games.

Tonight As The Orlando Magic Are Home For The Pelicans

  • As to tonight expect the Magic to play the majority of the squad again. However, it is possible that you may see some of the minutes begin to creep up a little.
  • The team will again be focusing their attention on building through defensive efficiency and effort. The team have set themselves the target to be a top defensive team. To go back to the game against Cleveland the Magic defence of the paint was swarming. Only 30 of the Cleveland points came from here (for context the league average last season for points per game in the paint was roughly 50).
  • As is expected in these exhibition games everyone get minutes. Missing the Cavs game was Gary Harris (rest). Caleb Houstan (right ankle sprain) and Kevon Harris (sore right knee) have not yet featured in the preseason games.
  • Our projected starting 5 for Orlando tonight is again – PG Markelle Fultz, SG Jalen Suggs, SF Franz Wagner, PF Paolo Banchero, C Wendell Carter Jr

New Orleans Pelicans 

The Pelicans Preseason So Far

  • In our last preview for the Pels we spoke of their season being somewhat dependent upon keeping Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram fit and on the court. If they can perhaps they can be more of a force in the Western Conference. Remember, they topped it after 2 months last season, eventually finishing with a 42-40 record, seeing them 9th and exiting to OKC in the 9-10 play-in game on home court by 123-118. 
  • So far they are 0-3, having since lost to both the Houston Rockets (at home 120-87) and on the road to the Atlanta Hawks (105-110). Williamson was the only starter against Atlanta to reach double digit scoring with 16 points. 
  • In the opening preseason game for both teams we saw the continuity from being able to run it back. Jordan Hawkins, their draft at pick 14 looked a strong option, he is a decent sized guard.

For Tonight

  • Our projected starting 5 for the Pels is the same as they have used in all of the exhibition games so far – PG CJ McCollum, SG Herbert Jones, SF Brandon Ingram, PF Zion Williamson, C Jonas Valanciunas
  • On the injury front Larry Nance Jr and Jose Alvarado are both day-to-day with an expectation of being ready for opening night. Trey Murphy III is out after surgery and not expected back until December. We also didn’t get to see Cody Zeller. None of these have featured in any of their three games so far.

The Orlando Magic Are Home And How We Feel

  • The winning momentum from the preseason so far is great and we would love to see it continue. Hugely important is for everyone to come through it healthy. We are not going to be down if it doesn’t but there is a real excitement and anticipation building.
  • The chemistry this team has is amazing, it is something we are excited to see develop further. Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner have a telepathic feel for each other’s game. The back court partnerships are two cohesive units, with the parts interchangeable. Fultz and Suggs have jelled together whilst the new pairing of Black and Anthony is showing great promise two games in. Tonight is another opportunity for it to grow further.

The Penny For Your Thoughts Podcast Game Preview

Here is the Penny For Your Thoughts Podcast game preview as the Orlando Magic are home to face the New Orleans Pelicans.