The New Orleans Pelicans are riding a bit of a high, having climbed back to .500 for the first time in over two years!
With consecutive victories against the Kings and Cavaliers fresh in their minds, they look to get their fill of a much more appetizing slate coming this week in the form of Minnesota, Dallas, Chicago, and Indiana.
But first, the Pelicans face off with the surprisingly surging Orlando Magic.
Despite faltering to Kemba’s 34 and 10 and Dwight’s 22 and 10 in a 120-113 loss to the Charlotte Hornets last night, the Magic have been impressive thus far this season. With three 20-point scorers in Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic and 16 point per game Jonathan Simmons, the Magic have been lighting opponents like the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs on fire. In Gordon’s first contest of the year, he put up 41 on the Brooklyn Nets (who are playing better than Nets teams of the past).
Following the Ibaka trade, the Magic changed their style of play under Frank Vogel, seeking a more up and down approach and moved Gordon back to his more natural position of power forward.
Even Frank Vogel has expressed surprise at just how much continuity has affected this quick start.
However, it looks like the Pels might be facing the Magic at just the right time.
The Magic travel to New Orleans on the second night of a back to back, and will seemingly play without promising young players in point guard Elfrid Payton and power forward Jonathan Isaac.
Look for the Magic to consistently attack mismatches, in transition and at the free throw line. If the Magic don’t run an organized play offensively all game, that is deemed a success by their standards. And don’t be surprised if you see Boogie extending to the three point line defensively, where Vucevic has been known to launch at a pretty good clip.
Defensively, the Magic won’t be afraid to face mismatches. Should Boogie find himself paired against Fournier for example, the watchful eye of Aaron Gordon should be close behind waiting to challenge at the basket.
Join Locked on Magic Host as well as the editor of Orlando Magic Daily, Philip Rossman Reich, and The Bird Writes Editor, Oleh Kosel, as they break down the matchup and give you fans all the information you’ll need to get ready for tonight’s matchup!