Where: Amway Center; Orlando, Florida
When: 7:00 p.m. EST
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Hornets get one more opportunity for a gimme win Friday night as they head to Orlando to take on the Magic.
The Magic are arguably one of the five worst teams in basketball and are fresh off beating the lowly Mavericks; a feat which only hurt Orlando’s lottery chances in the upcoming draft. In their last game, Orlando were without Nikola Vucevic, Jonathan Simmons, Jonathan Issac, Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross but still managed to pull out a rare win. Expect Orlando to do the same tonight at home except maybe not try too hard, it’s getting late in the season the Magic can’t afford to have trivial things like “effort” — not when there’s ping pong balls to be had.
All that being said, it’s Orlando, not Charlotte, who’ve been playing better basketball as of late. The Magic are winners of back-to-back games thanks to beating Dallas and New York, while Charlotte has lost their last four games.
Over their past five games, the Hornets are allowing an average of 118.4 points to their opponents. Even in the last game Charlotte won, they still allowed the Knicks to score 128 points. Fortunately, the Magic are one of the more offensively challenged teams in the league as they’re in the bottom third in points, shooting percentage and three-point percentage. Charlotte also has the edge when it comes to rebounding and that could be even more pronounced if Orlando holds out Vucevic for the second night in a row.
With a win, Charlotte can sweep the season series against their Southeastern Division counterparts.