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The Wizards Stand In The Path Of The Magic

  • Tonight the Wizards stand in the path of the Magic and a team record equaling 9th consecutive win. Another battle of the paint awaits in the final night of this 6 game home stand and the first night of a back-to-back.

Regular Season Game 19 – Washington Wizards vs Orlando Magic

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

Orlando Magic 

  • Regular Season Record: 13-5 (3rd best record in the NBA) 
  • Run: won 8 (longest active win streak in the NBA), 9-1 in the last 10 games played.
  • Home Record 8-2 (8-1 in the Amway Center; the Atlanta “home court” loss was in Mexico City)
  • Road Record 5-3
  • Standing: 2nd in the East
  • Points Per GameFor 114.1 (14th) Against 108.1 (5th)
  • RatingOffensive 17th Defensive 2nd
  • The Wizards stand in the path of the Magic but a win tonight ties the team’s longest winning streak in franchise history. A run of 9 consecutive wins has happened 3 times previously, the last occasion 23/Dec/2010 to 8/Jan/2011. They also did it from 12/Nov/1994 to 2/Dec/1994 and from 30/Jan2001 to 18/Feb/2001.
  • The Magic continue the fluid attacking groove, jumping ahead in their season statistics again. A season high field goal percentage of 60.7% last time out continues the now 5 games straight where the Magic have shot 50%-or-better. That ties the second longest streak in the team’s 35 years. The longest came in November-December 1994, at 8 games.
  • In this run of wins it was a fourth occasion where we have conceded 116 points or more, half the winning streak. Those high scores have come at the hands of Indiana, Denver, Charlotte and now Washington, each are free scoring teams. Defensive statistics for Orlando remain excellent. Jalen Suggs remains the 4th best defensive rated player in the NBA, Paolo Banchero is 17th and Joe Ingles 20th. Team stats are still top 5 in many areas, including second for steals made per game , opponent assists and total field goal attempts. Orlando are forcing the most opponent ball turn overs, along with the fewest opponent total and offensive rebounds.
  • Our scoring leader is now Franz Wagner with 20.2 ppg, on the back of two 30-point-plus games. Paolo Banchero is second with 19.1 ppg. Third on the team and leading the bench is Cole Anthony who with 15.6 points per game. At 13 points per game Jalen Suggs is seeing his scoring contributions growing also.
  • Paolo Banchero is also the team leader for assists (4.6) per game. Jalen Suggs is the leader for steals per game at 1.9 (that figure is the 3rd best in the league). Goga Bitadze leads in blocks with 1.4 per game (14th in the NBA).

Last Game – vs Washington Wizards 

  • Tonight’s opponents were also our last opponent. Orlando again had to settle themselves defensively at halftime to beat the Wizards by 120-139.
  • The Magic hit a season high on scoring Orlando, along with season highs in field goal percentage (60.7%), 3-point percentage (63%) and assists (34).
  • The Wizards were a dogged opponent who never gave up, mounting continuous comebacks to cut into any Orlando lead. They were helped by some careless plays by Orlando seeing high numbers of fouls and turnovers. However the game was somewhat over by the start of the final period with many starters on both teams not playing at all, or only for a minute or two.
  • Franz Wagner recorded a season-best 31 points in less than 31 minutes of play. He continually scored in transition and getting into the paint.
  • Aside from Wagner, Cole Anthony (25 points), Jalen Suggs (22), Joe Ingles (12) and Moe Wagner (11) all scored in double figures. This was a 18th game straight the team had 5-players-plus score in double figures. The Magic’s bench outscored the Wizards’ bench 65-44. 
  • The starting unit was again Anthony Black, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze.
  • From the bench came Cole Anthony, Gary Harris, Moe Wagner, Joe Ingles and Caleb Houstan. This time we also saw Admiral Schofield and Chuma Okeke feature.

Tonight

  • The Magic injury report has one additional name Paolo Banchero is listed as day-to-day with an ankle issue but is probable to play. As before Jonathan Isaac (left ankle; sore) is listed as questionable. Wendell Carter Jr (left hand; fractured third metacarpal), Markelle Fultz (left knee tendinitis), Kevon Harris (coach’s decision), Jett Howard (G League assignment) and Trevelin Queen (G League – Two-Way) are out for Orlando. 
  • If Paolo is good to go then it is hard to see there being any great changes in the early rotations for the Magic. However, this being the first night of a back-to-back we could see cameos again from the end of bench.

The Washington Wizards

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 3-15 Run: won 1 in their last 10 played
  • Standing: 14th in the East
  • Points Per GameFor 116.3 (8th) Against 124.8 (30th)
  • RatingOffensive 22nd Defensive 30th
  • This offence is based on attacking inside the arc and moving the ball. They shoot the fourth most field goals in the league, making the third most. Inside the arc from 60 attempts per game they make 32.
  • However, after the last outing and conceding 139 points to us the defensive rating dropped back 3 places to last. They are pretty much last or the bottom third in every defensive category. 
  • Kyle Kuzma is the team leader in scoring with 23.4 points per game. He is also providing a joint team lead for assists at 4.8, further supplemented by 6.1 rebounds 
  • Jordan Poole is following up with 17.4 points per game, settling into a nice scoring option alongside Kuzma.
  • Tyus Jones ties Kuzma with 4.9 assists per game. As we saw Daniel Gafford provides an inside presence on both ends of the floor. He leads the team per game on rebounds (7.4) and is rated 7th in the league for blocks per game at 2. Gafford has the 6th best offensive rating in the NBA.

Last Time Out For The Wizards

  • We have already looked at the Magic win over Washington from our perspective so to quickly touch on it for the Wizards. 
  • 28 assists and 14 steals were two very positive stats in the loss.
  • Kyle Kuzma had 23 points, with Deni Avdija one back at 22 points and Jordon Poole on 19.
  • Corey Kispert was the bench leader with 13 points, Eugene Omoruyi closed out the double digit scorers with a solid 10 point performance. 
  • Starting 5 – Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Deni Avdija, Kyle Kuzma, Daniel Gafford
  • Danilo Gallinari, Corey Kispert, Landry Shamet, Bilal Coulibaly, Eugene Omoruyi and Johnny Davis came from the bench for the major second unit minutes. Jared Butler and Anthony Gill had shorter cameos. 

Tonight

  • The Wizards have Delon Wright and Ryan Rollins both out for the game.
  • Barring any late withdrawal expect the same five who started on Wednesday to go again.

Head-To-Head With The Washington Wizards 

  • In 136 regular season games played Orlando lead by 76-60.
  • The Magic are on a 3 game streak over Washington. Last season was a series tie, with both teams winning a road and a home game.
  • The previous season had been a 0-4 sweep for Washington, part of a 7 game winning streak they had over Orlando. 
  • Prior to that streak for the Wizards the Magic had won 6 straight.

The Wizards Stand In The Path Of The Magic But Here Is A Final Thought

  • Being the first night of a back-to-back and against a team the Magic beat with time to spare in the last game it would be ideal if Orlando could put the Wizards away quickly.
  • As before this game will be a battle of two teams who attack the paint and force opponent turnovers. Our preview last time out highlighted how close these two teams are on two-point-field-goal attempts and scoring points in the paint. Washington and Orlando are exceptional at getting points from turnovers (rated 3rd and 1st). Orlando remain 2nd in the NBA for steals per game, Washington a strong and capable 9th.
  • It is difficult not to reiterate key areas when teams play each other consecutively. The hustle plays such as charges taken, deflections, loose balls recovered and box outs on which the Magic rank well will have an impact on the outcome if Orlando have that intensity of defence we know they are capable of.
  • Being a back-to-back I thought we’d look how the Magic are fairing.
    • This Season – First Night 1-2 : Second Night 2-1
    • Last Season – First Night 6-7 : Second Night 1-12
  • And one final reminder of how much better this season is going than last. Orlando have played 18 games and won 13. The win total of 13 games did not come until December 23rd in the last campaign on match day 34. Win number 14 was on January 4th, being game day 38!
  • Let’s not get carried away. Remember that Utah and New Orleans both started well before fading last season, but that’s no reason not to enjoy the ride we are on.
  • Now let’s go and get that 9th consecutive win and tie the team’s longest winning streak in franchise history!

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!

LET’S GET THAT W NUMBER 9!!