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The Orlando Magic Hit The Road

The Orlando Magic hit the road and head out West for a 4 game stretch, starting tonight in Oregon by facing a revamped Portland Trail Blazers.

Regular Season Game 2 – Orlando Magic vs Portland Trail Blazers 

  • U.K. tip time is 03:00 (3am Saturday morning). That’s a 10pm tip for our friends in Orlando and 7pm in Portland. 
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription. 

Orlando Magic 

Magic Stats

  • Season Record: 1-0
  • Standing: 7th

The Last Game

  • The Magic opened their season on home court with their largest ever opening night win in franchise history. That’s a great way to start the 35th anniversary celebrations. Orlando blew out the Houston Rockets by 86-116, a clear 30 points margin of victory.
  • Cole Anthony had 20 points and 8 rebounds, with good efficiency on 8-of-12 shooting.
  • Franz Wagner weighed in with 19 points, at times he had Dillon Brooks on skates. The balance and depth of the Magic squad was on view, seeing 6 players in double digit scoring. 
  • The team had the expected defensive focus, what was impressive was that it was largely maintained across the entire 48 minutes. Orlando we’re in control most of the way, the exception being the first minutes of the third when having been trailing by 17 in the first half, Houston pulled within one after. The Magic refused to let the game slip away and retook control. 
  • The starting unit was as expected Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • The core bench unit of Cole Anthony, Gary Harris, Jonathan Isaac, Joe Ingles and Moritz Wagner had a solid performance. They continued that defensive intensity and provided further scoring threat by their talents. 
  • The third unit finished the final 5 minutes of the match, adding 15 points to the eventual total. That saw NBA debuts for rookies Anthony Black and Jett Howard. Goga Bitadze, Caleb Houstan and Chuma Okeke finished out the unit. 

Looking At Tonight As The Orlando Magic Hit The Road

  • As to tonight, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it has to be the mantra. Focus on building from that defensive intensity. One-on-one isolation, hounding ball handlers, active hands getting those steals and deflecting passes.
  • Yes so far this is a very limited sample size so not to get carried away but the Magic had some impressive defensive numbers against the Rockets. Holding Houston to 32 points in the paint is a measure of the defensive effort, remember 50 points per game was the league average last season and Houston had ranked 5th best in that category. We also saw the Rockets out-rebounded by 57-31 (including the Magic taking an impressive 17 offensive boards). Houston ranked fourth in rebounding last season. Houston committed 19 turnovers, which led to 23 Magic points, much of that down to the relentless hounding of the man in possession by every player in the Magic squad on every possession the Rockets had.
  • Barring any late injuries the units will remain as on opening night. Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr all starting. 
  • As to injuries Kevon Harris is again listed as out with a sore left knee.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

Looking Back

  • Last season’s 33 win – 49 loss record and 12th place finish signalled the start of a new chapter for Portland. 
  • Damian Lillard got a move to pastures new (albeit not his first choice of Miami). Out also went Jusuf Nurkic, Keon Johnson, Nassir Little, Cam Reddish, Kevin Knox II and Justice Winslow amongst others.
  • Remaining is little of the squad from last season. Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant and Matisse Thybulle are still on the squad. As is 2nd year small forward Shaedon Sharpe, having had a solid rookie season. 
  • In the Draft dynamic point guard Scoot Henderson was taken at 3.
  • Strong additions were in the shape of DeAndre Ayton, Robert Williams III and Malcolm Brogdan.

The Season Opener

  • They opened the season with a 111-123 road loss to the LA Clippers. Malcolm Brogdan led the team in scoring and assists, coming from the bench to score 20 points and get 5 assists. Anfernee Simons had 18 points and 4 assists, whilst Scoot Henderson on his NBA debut made 11 points and 4 assists. Jerami Grant, Shaedon Sharpe and Robert Williams also scored in double digits.

Tonight

  • Projected starting 5 is as against the Clippers – Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant, Matisse Thybulle, DeAndre Ayton
  • There is one doubt to that unit though. Anfernee Simons is listed as day-to-day but probable for tonight with a thumb issue. Ish Wainwright is out
  • Hard after a single league game and the preseason what to expect exactly from Portland as to style. Against the Clippers they played at a steady pace and managed to force the Clippers into turnovers. Portland shot the three at around the same level as the Magic did against Houston, taking 32 attempts and making 10. 

Head to Head With The Portland Trail Blazers

  • In 67 regular season games played the score stands at 27-40 to Portland.
  • From Feb 2017 to January 2022 Portland won 10 meetings straight. 
  • For the last two seasons each team has won on the road, splitting the series 1-1.
  • Last season saw each game decided by a 3 point margin.
  • These two teams have never met in the playoffs.

A Final Thought As The Orlando Magic Hit The Road

  • Yes, it was one game but Orlando have begun the season looking as if they have been able to carry over the form and momentum from the second half of last season and preseason.
  • We will reiterate that what comes next for Orlando on this 4 game road trip to face Portland, the Clippers and Lakers on a back-to-back and finishing it against the Utah Jazz is no easy task.
  • With so many new faces for Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups to integrate it may take time to get the blend and understanding right. Therefore for the Magic this could be a good point of the season to visit Portland.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!