Orlando takes on Golden State on Saturday night at 8:30pmET. The Magic sits in second place in the Southeast Division and seventh place in the Eastern Conference in the playoff race. The Warriors are 9-34 and have the worst record in the Western Conference. Both teams also played on Thursday and suffered losses.
These teams met on Dec. 1 with the Magic winning 100-96 at home, but didn't cover the 8.0.
Magic playing better basketballThe NBA trade deadline is Feb. 6 and Orlando could be involved, but will they be buyers or sellers? They may be buyers considering they've won six of their last eight games and they've done it without young forward Jonathan Isaac (12ppg, 6.9rpg). He's out until mid-March with a knee injury, while D.J. Augustin (10.7ppg, 4.7apg) is out until mid-February with a knee issue.
On Thursday, the Magic had a two-game winning streak snapped at the LA Clippers 122-95. They started this six-game road trip at Phoenix (98-94 loss), then beat Sacramento by two and upset the Lakers by one on Wednesday. So, the Clippers game was the second of a back-to-back game. The Magic couldn't stop Kawhi Leonard, who scored 32 points for the Clippers. Nikola Vucevic led the way with 22 points and nine boards for the Magic, while Aaron Gordon poured in 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
Despite losing Augustine and Isaac, Orlando still has some quality young talent. Point guard Markelle Fultz is looking for consistency after going for a triple-double against the Lakers (21pts, 11 rebs, 10 ass.), but then scoring just 11 against the Clips on 5-of-17 shooting.
Orlando leads the NBA in points per game allowed (104.3) and ranks 12th in field goal percentage defense (45.2). On offense, they've struggled with just 103.9 points per game (29th) on 43.2% shooting (29th) and 33.4% (27th) from long range.
Wing Evan Fournier leads the way with 19.1 points per game on 39.5% three-point shooting, while Vucevic adds 18.9 points and 11.1 rebounds on 45.1% shooting (37.1% 3pt).
Nothing left in the TankIt's been a rough season for the Warriors. No Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Curry (hand) could return in a couple of weeks, but Thompson will not due to the ACL injured he suffered in last season's NBA Finals. At 9-33, Golden State is closer to getting the number one pick in this year's NBA Draft, than they are to making the playoffs.
In their last game, they took Denver to overtime before falling 134-131 at home. The Nuggets were playing without injured starters Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap and trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half, 12 in the second half and also twice in overtime. Alec Burks led the Warriors with 25 points off the bench, while Damion Lee added 21 points, six assists and five rebounds in 37 minutes. Golden State lost this game on the boards by 12. Lee, who was just signed to a multiyear contract, was a two-way player who is very skilled but hampered by knee and hand surgeries.
Golden State, who has lost 10 straight games, ranks near the bottom of most statistical categories aside from free throw shooting (80.8%). Their biggest issue is defending the three (38%) and shooting from the field (42.8%). D'Angelo Russell (23.1ppg) leads the team in scoring but there are rumors that he could be on the move before the trade deadline.
Orlando is: n/a
Trends from Covers.com Golden State is:
- 7-3 ATS last 10 after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game.