Birch will come off the bench for Saturday's tilt with the Bucks.
Birch will be replaced by Wes Iwundu in the starting five. Despite a track record of strong play, Birch's been held to just 20 total minutes over his past two outings. Across 13 others games as a reserve, the 27-year-old big has averaged 2.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 13.4 minutes per game.
Birch (back) logged eight minutes off the bench in Wednesday's 116-100 loss to the Celtics, finishing with zero points and one rebound.
Though Birch was cleared to play after missing the Magic's previous contest, he didn't fill his usual role as the starting power forward and went unused for the entire first half before checking into the contest late in the third quarter. Orlando may have just been acting cautiously with Birch coming off the injury, but assuming he escaped Wednesday's game without any setbacks, he should be available again Thursday versus the Knicks.
Birch (back) is expected to be available Wednesday against Boston, Josh Robbins of The Athletic reports.
Birch missed Monday's game in Charlotte with a sore back, but he was able to go through shootaround Wednesday morning and is likely to make his return to the starting lineup, per coach Steve Clifford.
The Magic list Birch (back) as questionable for Wednesday's game against the Celtics.
While Birch was sidelined for Monday's 112-100 win over the Hornets, Aaron Gordon slotted in at power forward while Wes Iwundu entered the starting five at small forward. Expect a combination of Iwundu, Gary Clark and Michael Carter-Williams to absorb extra minutes in the event Birch sits out a second straight game Wednesday.
Birch won't play Monday against Charlotte due to low back tightness.
This is the first report of a possible injury for the center, as Birch most recently tallied four rebounds in 17 minutes against Miami on Saturday. With Birch absent Monday, Wes Iwundu will reportedly rejoin the starting five and will likely see an increased role versus the Hornets.
Birch contributed nine points (3-5 FG, 3-4 FT), five rebounds, two blocks and one steal in 27 minutes Sunday in the Magic's 112-97 loss to the Clippers.
Birch was included in the starting five for the ninth time in 10 games, as coach Steve Clifford has seemingly favored a super-sized frontcourt featuring the 27-year-old alongside Nikola Vucevic following Jonathan Isaac's likely season-ending knee injury. The move to the top unit has come with a spike in playing time, but Birch isn't doing enough to warrant much attention outside of deeper leagues. Over his last five outings, Birch is averaging 5.6 points and 5.4 boards in 18.8 minutes.
Birch is a late addition to the starting five, taking Wesley Iwundu's place for Friday's game against the Celtics.
It was originally reported that Iwundu was starting, but that has been corrected. Birch has started 19 games this season, averaging 4.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 25.3 minutes.
Birch will come off the bench Wednesday against the Thunder.
Birch has started the past seven games, though he's seen fewer than 20 minutes in each of his past four appearances, posting averages of 2.3 points and 3.0 rebounds during that stretch. Wes Iwundu is getting the start in place of Birch on Wednesday.
Birch totaled just one rebound in 16 minutes during Wednesday's 119-118 victory over the Lakers.
Birch hit rock bottom Wednesday, missing his only two shot attempts during just 16 minutes on the floor. He continues to start for the Magic who are paper-thin in the power forward department. His role could quickly evaporate should the Magic choose to go with a smaller lineup and Birch is not worth adding in almost every competitive format.
Birch is starting Wednesday against the Wizards.
Birch will replace Wes Iwundu in the starting five. In 12 starts the season, the big man is averaging 4.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 blocks in 27.8 minutes per tilt.
Birch will come off the bench Saturday against the Jazz.
Birch was handed an unexpected start Friday against the Heat with Jonathan Isaac sidelined, but he'll return to the bench Saturday as Wes Iwundu gets the nod. In nine appearances off the bench this season, Birch has averaged 3.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 14.0 minutes.
Birch is starting Friday's game against Miami.
Birch finished with seven points and 10 boards in 26 minutes Wednesday against the Wizards, so the Magic will give him a chance to run with the first unit. He's started 11 games this season, averaging 4.8 points, seven rebounds and 1.5 assists in 28 minutes.
Birch managed seven points (3-3 FG, 1-2 FT), 10 rebounds, two assists and one block in 26 minutes during Wednesday's 122-101 win over the Wizards.
Birch was perfect from the field and saw 11 minutes more than Mo Bamba, who typically holds down the fort as Nikola Vucevic's primary backup at center. Washington regularly employed lineups with two big men, thus allowing Birch and other Magic big men to see the court amid the absences of Aaron Gordon (Achilles) and Jonathan Isaac (knee), with the latter leaving just minutes into the game. If Gordon and Isaac remain sidelined for Friday's matchup versus the Heat, Birch could once again receive decent minutes.
Birch (coach's decision) didn't see the floor during Sunday's 130-119 win over the Pelicans.
After starting the previous 11 games and playing a season-high 32 minutes just two days earlier, Birch dropped out of the Magic rotation entirely with Nikola Vucevic (ankle) back in action. Vucevic handled a normal minutes load in his first game back, while Mo Bamba handled the backup role, leaving Birch third on the depth chart. Given that Bamba's development remains a greater priority for the Magic than finding playing time for Birch, expect the latter to remain out of the rotation for the foreseeable future.
Birch is not in the starting lineup for Sunday's game against the Pelicans.
Nikola Vucevic (ankle) returns to the starting five following an 11-game absence, pushing Birch back to the bench. Birch averaged 4.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 blocks in 28.0 minutes as a fill-in starter, so his fantasy upside will be minimal while playing reduced minutes.
Birch finished with zero points (0-1 FG), nine rebounds, five assists and two blocks in 28 minutes Tuesday in the Magic's 127-120 win over the Wizards.
Birch's usage rate was a remarkably low 1.5 percent in the contest, but he still did enough across the board to deliver a better fantasy line than backup Mohamed Bamba (four points, eight rebounds in 16 minutes). Since replacing the injured Nikola Vucevic (ankle) in the starting five Nov. 23, Birch has seen more minutes than Bamba in each of the Magic's six games, and the playing-time gap has only increased in the past three contests. Birch thus remains the better of the two centers to own in fantasy leagues until Vucevic returns, though the 27-year-old doesn't have much upside.
Birch will start Saturday against the Pacers, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports.
The Magic need a new starting center with Nikola Vucevic ruled out at least four weeks with a right ankle injury. Birch appears to be ahead of Mo Bamba in the pecking order at the moment.
Birch scored a season-high 12 points (5-7 FG, 2-3 FT) while adding four rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench during Wednesday's 113-97 loss to the Raptors.
Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon both suffered ankle injuries in the second quarter, forcing the Magic to turn to depth big men like Birch and Mo Bamba to fill the void. Birch responded with his best performance of the season, and if either or both starters end up missing additional action, the third-year center could find himself seeing big minutes in the short term.
Birch is yet to make an appearance through four regular season games in 2019-20.
Birch is behind Nikola Vucevic and sophomore Mo Bamba on the team's center depth chart. Vucevic is averaging 31.0 minutes while Bamba is seeing 13.8, plus the Magic have plenty of bigger forwards who can shift to the five in small-ball lineups. Unless or until Vucevic or Bamba suffers an injury or foul trouble becomes a problem, Birch may find it difficult to crack the regular rotation despite holding his own in the primary backup role last season. Fortunately for Birch, Bamba is expected to miss Friday's matchup for rest purposes, potentially opening the door for Birch to make his regular season debut.
Birch will have his minutes limited in Wednesday's preseason outing against the Hawks, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports.
There is no real reason for Birch, who signed a two-year contract with Orlando this offseason, to play extended minutes in the preseason, so the team will put a cap on his playing time Wednesday to get some of their newer players more experience.
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