Orlando Magic vs. Atlanta Hawks: Game Preview
Magic takes on Falcons in Mexico City
There’s an old adage in the NBA that “the defense travels.”
The Orlando Magic hope that applies to international travel as well.
After stumbling in the second half against the Dallas Mavericks, Orlando will hope to put on a more complete performance against its No. 1 Eastern Conference rival of the season and hang its hat on the defensive end of the floor regardless of whether shots go in or not. .
The Magic (4-3) are in Mexico City and are ready to put on a bounce-back performance against the Atlanta Hawks (4-3) on Thursday at 9:30 PM ET.
“We have to understand that it’s a 48-minute game,” Magic guard Jalen Suggs said. “We have to play it all the way.”
This focus will not only be tested against a talented Hawks squad, but on the international stage as well. Meeting in Mexico City means increased media responsibilities, playing at higher altitudes (the city is 7,350 feet above sea level), and more interest in the match – the competition will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories on television, digital and social media. Social Media.
“He’s pretty dope,” said Magic guard Markelle Fultz, who took practice Wednesday but remains questionable for the outing. “Just embrace it. Seeing new faces. Getting a chance to showcase our talents. But it’s definitely a lot. You just have to embrace it and enjoy it.”
On the court, Orlando will need to keep up with a high-octane Atlanta team that scores the second-most points per game (122.0) in the NBA. At the forefront of the Hawks’ offensive attack are two-headed backcourt monsters, Dejounte Murray and Trae Young, who are each averaging over 21 points per game.
“Trae Young is the head of the snake with Dejounte Murray,” Magic guard Cole Anthony said. “They’re both skilled goalkeepers, and they can make our defense useful if we’re not surrounded. They have a group of shooters around them.”
Orlando will counter with an offensive attack that has shown flashes to start the season. Paolo Banchero overcame a slow start and is averaging 25.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists over the last three games.
But the offensive burden doesn’t just fall on this year’s rookie. The Magic have six players who are averaging double-digit points per game and are moving the basketball to find open shooters as well. In fact, 92.8 percent of Orlando’s threes this season have been assists — the highest mark in the NBA.
Key statistics: Orlando’s matchup with Atlanta marks the third regular season game in the team’s history in Mexico City and its third trip overall – including a preseason game on October 7, 2012 (85–80 loss to New Orleans). The Magic went 2-0 all-time during the regular season in Mexico City, with their victory coming during the 2018-19 season. Orlando defeated Chicago on December 13, 2018, then defeated Utah on December 15, 2018.
The Magic are 4-1 all-time in regular season games played outside the United States and Canada.
Thursday’s NBA game will be the 32nd all-time in Mexico City and the 13th of the regular season — more than any country outside the United States and Canada.
Quote for note: “I love it. I think our team loves it. Our organization loves it. It’s so great that we can continue to grow the game of basketball. The fan support is absolutely incredible, especially here in Mexico City. They’re knowledgeable, they’re passionate, they work hard, and they Loyal fans. I’ve been here before with Dallas (as an assistant coach). I think it’s an amazing experience for these guys to have.” -Magic coach Jamal Mosley
inside and outside: Jonathan Isaac (sore left hamstring) is probable, Fultz (left hamstring tendinitis) is questionable, Wendell Carter Jr. (left hand; fractured third metatarsal), Gary Harris (strained right groin), Kevon Harris (G League – 2-way ), and Trevelin Queen (G League – Two-Way) is out.
For Atlanta, Muhammad Gueye (right lower back; strain) is questionable, while Kobe Bufkin (left thumb; fracture), Seth Lundy (G-League – two-way), Wesley Matthews (right calf; mild strain), and Miles Norris (G League – Two-Way) Out.