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The Orlando Magic Go Against The Clippers

The Orlando Magic go against the Clippers tonight on the second night of a back-to-back in the Crypto.com Arena. For the Clippers it is a first night of a back-to-back.

Regular Season Game 4 – Orlando Magic vs Los Angeles Clippers

  • U.K. tip time is 02:30 (2:30am Tuesday morning). That’s a 10:30pm tip for our friends in Orlando and 7:30pm in California. 
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription. 

Orlando Magic 

  • Season Record: 2-1
  • Standing: tied 2nd in the East
  • Points Per Game: For – 107 (21st) Against – 96.3 (1st)
  • Rating: Offensive 15th Defensive 1st
  • At this point of the season Orlando are in the upper reaches of the NBA for most things defensively and after last night the stats took a dip on the offensive end.
  • Scoring is being led by Franz Wagner with 19.3 ppg, followed by Cole Anthony (16.7). There are 4 other Magic players averaging over 10 points per game.

Last Game 

  • The Magic suffered the first defeat of the season last night to the Lakers by 103-106. As expected it was a hard fought game.
  • There was a lot to like in the Magic performance, outside of what was a poor shooting game. The defensive effort was there. Orlando fought throughout, controlled momentum for long stretches but were ultimately unable to make the clutch shots.
  • It seems neither set of fans were over happy with the officiating. It was somewhat better than last season’s; where Austin Reaves shot more free throws individually than the Magic did as a team. From a Magic perspective there were a couple of blocking fouls called that were dubious, along with Anthony Davis getting a foul call for what seemed like tripping himself. And let’s not forget the jump ball call after Davis had Franz in a headlock. But free throw attempts had parity so that’s some improvement.
  • Officiating wasn’t the reason for this loss. Had Orlando hit more than 40% from the field victory could have been secured, though an impressive 10 blocks by the Lakers didn’t help this stat. 
  • There is some criticism amongst Magic fans as to decisions down the stretch made by Coach Mosely. 
  • Gary Harris scored a team-high 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the floor. The question being asked is why he was not on the floor more when scoring was needed and he had the hot hand.
  • Franz Wagner had 16 points in what wasn’t one of his best games offensively.
  • Jalen Suggs finished with 15 points, to go along with eight rebounds and an all energy performance. It showed how dialled in he is by his reaction at the buzzer on missing the final shot.
  • The starting unit was as expected Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • The core bench unit was again Cole Anthony, Gary Harris, Jonathan Isaac, Joe Ingles and Moritz Wagner. Goga Bitadze made a short cameo.

Tonight

Los Angeles Clippers

Looking Back And The Trade

  • Last season’s record of 44-38 was pretty much achieved without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The record saw a 5th place finish in the West, going out 1-4 to the Phoenix Suns in Western Conference First Round.
  • Over the summer Mason Plumlee signed an extension. Russell Westbrook re-signed to the team, taking one of the biggest pay cuts in NBA history from max contract to vet minimum.
  • James Harden it was announced over night is coming to the Clippers, along with Filip Petrušev and P.J. Tucker. Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris, Robert Covington and Kenyon Martin Jr exit the Clippers along with a number of picks.

Stats

  • Season Record: 2-1
  • Standing: 5th in the West
  • Points Per Game: For – 121.3 (5th) Against – 104.5 (5th)
  • Rating: Offensive 2nd Defensive 5th
  • Offensively this is a team that has so far shot the ball well, making 41%from three (best in the NBA) and a total field goal percentage that is second in the league at 52%.
  • They do turn the ball over a lot.
  • Defensively they force opponent turnovers, leading the league in steals and can be very effective at blocking shots. 

The Clippers Last Game

  • Their last game played was a 40 point home court destruction of the San Antonio Spurs by 83-123.
  • Kawhi Leonard scored a team high 21 points, followed closely by Russell Westbrook and Paul George with 19. Bones Hyland came from the bench for 18 points. A total of 7 players scored double digits.
  • The starting 5 was Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Robert Covington and Ivica Zubac.

Tonight

  • Their injury report has some interesting names. Terrence Mann and Brandon Boston Jr are both out. Norman Powell and Ivica Zubac are both questionable.
  • The starting five will have to change with Covington being traded. Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard could be joined by Bones Hyland. If Ivica Zubac doesn’t make it then Mason Plumlee will move up from the bench to start at centre.
  • Kobe Brown (taken at 30th in the Draft) could see significant playing time.

Head to Head 

  • In 67 regular season games played the score stands at 32-35 to the Clippers.
  • The Magic won the series 2-0 last season. The season before the Clippers took a 2-0 series victory. 
  • Between January 2014 and January 2021 the Clippers won 14 meetings straight.

A Final Thought As The Orlando Magic Go Against The Clippers

  • Tonight is an opportunity for the Magic to bounce back from the loss and a poor performance on the offensive end.
  • Yes, there will be some tiredness but this is a young team, with good fitness levels and recovery abilities.
  • It would be a bonus to see Banchero find his offensive rhythm tonight, rediscovering that strength and aggression that saw him win the Rookie of the Year award. I still say it is too soon to be talking about the second year slump.
  • The absences through injury and the Harden trade will see the Clippers playing some very unfamiliar rotations. It will also see an increased emphasis on Kawhi and PG13 to carry this team tonight. 
  • As with last night for the Magic it won’t be an easy game, it will be hard fought but it is certainly winnable! The Magic have the motivation given how close they came to a win last night. 

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview As The Orlando Magic Go Against The Clippers

GO MAGIC!