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The Orlando Magic Play The Chicago Bulls

Tonight we are on the road, as the Orlando Magic play the Chicago Bulls. For Orlando it is their second NBA in-season tournament game. 

Regular Season Game 12 / In Season Tournament Game 2 – Orlando Magic vs Chicago Bulls

  • Venue – United Center, Chicago, Illinois
  • U.K. tip time is 01:00am, which is 8pm for our friends in Orlando. 
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription. 

Orlando Magic 

  • Season Record: 6-5 Run: won 1
  • Home Record 3-2 Road Record 3-3
  • Standing: tied 6th (record tied 6th-8th with New York and Atlanta) in the East
  • Points Per Game: For 108.3 (29th) Against 106.6 (6th)
  • Rating: Offensive 26th Defensive 2nd
  • The Magic continue to rank poorly on offensive categories. The team are second in the league for free throws attempted, having made 228 of the 303 attempts this season. They remain 7th in making offensive rebounds. 
  • It is in defensive categories that Orlando are excelling, allowing for the above .500 record. The Magic are 2nd for steals made per game and opponents turn the ball over against us more than any other team. Defensively the Magic are second at restricting field goal attempts, opponent total rebounds made and have the second lowest opponent assist rate. 
  • Scoring is being led now by Paolo Banchero (18.7) with Franz Wagner second with 18.3 ppg. Cole Anthony leads the bench in scoring (also third on the team) with 13.5 points per game.
  • Paolo Banchero is also the team leader for assists (4.9) per game. Jalen Suggs is the team leader for steals per game at 2.2 per game (that figure is the third best in the NBA). Jonathan Isaac leads the team with 1.4 blocks per game (18th in the NBA).

Orlando’s Last Games

  • Since our last preview Orlando have played two games, taking a road loss in Brooklyn and a win in Chicago

Brooklyn Nets – Magic Game Day 10

  • On November 14th Orlando produced a lacklustre performance in opening their in-season tournament campaign. It saw the Nets run out 104-124 winners, a points differential of -20 that hopefully will not come back to bite Orlando further along in the tournament standings.
  • Orlando had 16 turnovers (about the season average) but as most were live-ball turnovers, the Magic could not get the defence in place. It saw the Nets scoring 27 points directly from those mistakes.
  • That being said the game was close until the final quarter when everything seemed to fail for Orlando on both ends of the court.
  • Franz Wagner led the Magic with 21 points. Paolo Banchero posted 19 points, including making four shots from 3-point-range. Goga Bitadze had 14 points.
  • The starting unit was Anthony Black, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze.
  • The initial 4 from the bench were Cole Anthony, Jonathan Isaac, Moe Wagner and Joe Ingles. Latterly Caleb Houstan, Chuma Okeke and Jett Howard made appearances.

Chicago Bulls – Magic Game Day 11

  • Orlando took a thrilling 96-94 victory in Chicago on Wednesday night (November 15th).
  • Paolo Banchero backed down Alex Caruso into the post and connected on a game winning turnaround shot with 1.4 seconds remaining from inside the paint. This shot has been identified as a mistake by the NBA in their last two-minutes-report for the game, citing that Paolo travelled. 
  • The Magic led by eight points with 90 seconds left in the final quarter and by as many as 19 in the game. But the Bulls had fought back and a Zach LaVine 3-pointer tied the game at 94-94 with just 7 seconds remaining. 
  • Over the game neither time were great offensively, both struggled shooting. Perhaps the ultimate difference was that unlike in Brooklyn the Magic reduced their turnovers and capitalised on those by Chicago.
  • Paolo Banchero led the Magic with 17 points, while Cole Anthony scored 16 and Goga Bitadze had 15 points. Jalen Suggs produced 3 of the Magic’s 12 steals. 
  • The starting unit was Anthony Black, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze.
  • From the bench we saw Gary Harris return to the court and join Cole Anthony, Jonathan Isaac, Moe Wagner and Joe Ingles.


  • We have two players definitely absent. Markelle Fultz remains out due to left knee tendinitis. Wendell Carter Jr after surgery on a fractured left hand middle finger will be re-evaluated in the last week of November but could be out until the new year.
  • Jalen Suggs is a game time decision after multiple knocks and impacts over the recent games.
  • If Suggs is fit to play expect him to remain in the starting 5. If not our starting unit could see Gary Harris, alongside Anthony Black, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze.

The Chicago Bulls

A Quick Look Back

  • A 40-42 record last season saw the Bulls finish 10th in the East. However they failed to make the playoffs, losing to the Miami Heat in the second play-in game after having beaten the Toronto Raptors in the 9-10 matchup.
  • Jevon Carter, Torrey Craig and Julian Phillips (35th in the Draft) were the key summer additions. 

Season Stats

  • Season Record: 4-8 Run: lost 2
  • Standing: tied 12th in the East
  • Points Per Game: For 108.5 (27th) Against 112.2 (15th)
  • Rating: Offensive 25th Defensive 19th
  • We also need to look at their in-season tournament record. This is the Bulls second and final home game in the group phase. The Brooklyn Nets beat the by two points (109-107), leaving them at a 0-1 record with a points difference of -2.
  • Offensively this is a team that attacks the 2-point-shot the second most in the league, with a strong focus on players creating their own opportunities. They value the ball having the least turnovers per game. They turn defence into attack, making 9.3 steals per game (3rd best). 

Last Time Out For The Bulls

  • We pretty much covered this one above, the 96-94 defeat to Orlando on Wednesday night.
  • Zach LaVine led the team with 19 points, followed by Nikola Vucevic with 17. Alex Caruso led the bench with 17 points.
  • Starting 5 – Zach LaVine, Coby White, Torrey Craig, Patrick Williams, Nikola Vucevic
  • Alex Caruso, Ayo Donsumo, Jevon Carter, Julian Phillips and Andre Drummond all came from the bench.


  • Their injury report sees Lonzo Ball ruled out of the season. Dalen Terry is also out.
  • DeMar DeRozan (personal) and Alex Caruso (toe) are both day-to-day. DeRozan is questionable, Caruso probably features.
  • If DeRozan is available to play he would replace Torrey Craig in the starting 5 and makes for a much tougher opponent. 

Head-To-Head With The Bulls 

  • In 122 regular season games played and the score stands at 57-65 to the Bulls.
  • Last season was a 2-1 victory for the Magic, winning both road games. 
  • Over recent years there have been very few blow out victories for either team.

A Final Thought As The Orlando Magic Play The Chicago Bulls

  • To progress into the later stages of the in-season tournament has to be a goal for this Orlando team. It is a way to gain valuable experience in “meaningful games”. That experience can only be of benefit come the hoped for post season involvement. 
  • As the Orlando Magic play the Chicago Bulls for each team after their Brooklyn results in this group, a win tonight is pretty much essential for any hope of advancement.
Current standings of the NBA In Season Tournament East Group C
  • Turnovers leading to opponent points has been the key problem in four of the Orlando Magic’s five losses so far this season. Restricting this will see Orlando’s chances of a win hugely improved. 
  • And finally, it took Orlando 16 games to get to 5 wins last season, 26 games to reach 6! So whilst there have been struggles, dips and frustrations enjoy where we are at. This is evidence of progress we are making, even with injuries. This is still a developing team.