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ORL -2.5, O/U 53
Eastern Southeast Standings
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Magic's Terrence Ross: Nearly perfect off bench
Ross scored 19 points (8-9 FG, 3-3 3Pt) while adding three rebounds and two steals in 23 minutes off the bench during Saturday's 96-89 win over the Jazz.
The 27-year-old remains extremely streaky -- he scored only 15 points on 5-for-20 shooting over the prior two games combined -- but when Ross is locked in, he can fill the bucket up in a hurry. Despite his volatility, he's on pace to average career highs in scoring and three-pointers as one of the Magic's key reserves.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Nikola Vucevic: Big double-double in win over Jazz
Vucevic scored 15 points (5-14 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 4-4 FT) while adding 19 rebounds, five assists and two blocks in 30 minutes during Saturday's 96-89 win over the Jazz.
The 28-year-old got the better of Utah center Rudy Gobert at both ends of the court, helping propel Orlando to a sweep of their two-game set in Mexico City. Vucevic now has 20 double-doubles in 29 games, putting him on pace to shatter his previous career high of 46.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Evan Fournier: Leads Magic to win
Fournier scored a team-high 24 points (7-15 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 8-10 FT) while adding seven rebounds and a steal in 33 minutes during Saturday's 96-89 win over the Jazz.
His scoring has taken a nosedive recently, and Fournier has scored in single digits five times in his last 10 games while dropping 20 or more only twice, including Saturday's effort. Whether that slump is related to the one game he was away from the Magic to attend to a personal matter is unknown, but hopefully this outburst is a sign he's about to heat up.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Mohamed Bamba: Productive in suspension return
Bamba (team suspension) contributed eight points (3-6 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), six rebounds, two assists and one block across 15 minutes in the Magic's 97-91 win over the Bulls in Mexico City on Thursday.
The rookie had been handed a one-game suspension by the Magic for violation of an unspecified team rule, a ban he served last Monday. Whatever the issue was, it appears to have been satisfactorily addressed, as Bamba was back to his usual allotment of minutes in the mid-teens Thursday and continued to offer solid scoring and rebounding production relative to playing time. The 20-year-old remains firmly stuck in a bench role behind Nikola Vucevic, a slotting that isn't expected to change as long as the latter remains healthy.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Aaron Gordon: Stuck in shooting slump
Gordon was limited to eight points (2-11 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 3-4 FT), seven assists and five rebounds across 37 minutes Thursday in the Magic's 97-91 win over the Bulls in Mexico City.
After a recent four-game stretch in which he scored no fewer than 18 points, Gordon has only tallied 18 combined over his past two contests while shooting 6-for-26 from the floor. It's probably nothing more than a blip on the radar for Gordon, a 45.2 percent career shooter from the field, so fantasy managers shouldn't panic about his poor form of late. That said, Gordon, who is averaging 16.0 points per game, may struggle to match or surpass the career-best 17.6 he supplied in 2017-18 with center Nikola Vucevic having emerged as more of an offensive focal point for the Magic this season.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Evan Fournier: Modest production in return
Fournier (personal) compiled 10 points (5-13 FG, 0-5 3Pt), four assists and three rebounds across 30 minutes in the Magic's 97-91 win over the Bulls on Thursday in Mexico City.
Fournier's blanking from distance notably capped his overall production, but he was sharp from in front of the arc in his return from a one-game absence due to a personal matter. The veteran two-guard has mostly corrected his drastic shooting late-November shooting slump, as he's posted success rates of 50 percent or better in two of four December contests. While he's been back under 40 percent over his last pair of games, the majority of his struggles have come on three-point attempts, as Fournier is 8-for-14 from in front of the arc during that stretch.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Jonathan Isaac: Checks off every box in win
Isaac finished with 10 points (2-7 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 5-5 FT), three rebounds, one assist, three steals and three blocks across 26 minutes in the Magic's 97-91 win over the Bulls on Thursday in Mexico City.
Isaac drew another start at small forward and responded with a better effort than Monday against the Mavericks. The 2017 sixth overall pick had provided just four points in that contest, but he managed to work his way back to double digits in the scoring column Thursday despite a poorer shooting effort. A perfect showing from the charity stripe was key to propping up Isaac's final line, and his trio both steals and blocks was an excellent supplement. The 21-year-old naturally remains very much a work in progress, but he certainly has the talent to ramp up production if he continues seeing starter-level minutes.... See More ... See Less
Magic's D.J. Augustin: Solid complementary production
Augustin registered 15 points (4-8 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 4-4 FT), seven rebounds and two assists across 33 minutes in the Magic's 97-91 win over the Bulls in Mexico City on Thursday.
Augustin's offensive efforts were an effective supplement to those Nikola Vucevic's, who led all scorers with 26 points. The veteran point guard snapped a three-game streak of single-digit point tallies, with his second December effort of at least 60 percent shooting from three-point range significantly helping to prop up his final line. Augustin's scoreboard contributions remain hard to trust on a night-to-night basis, but his assist contributions help keep him a serviceable fantasy piece in deeper formats.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Nikola Vucevic: Double-doubles in Mexico win
Vucevic delivered 26 points (11-21 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 1-2 FT), 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block across 33 minutes in the Magic's 97-91 win over the Bulls in Mexico City on Thursday.
Vucevic led the Magic in scoring and rebounding, capping an excellent performance with a tiebreaking jumper with 28 seconds remaining. The offensively prolific center managed to bounce back from atypical 26.7 percent shooting performance against the Mavericks last Monday, and his point total qualified as his highest of December thus far. The clunker against Dallas aside, Vucevic has been a virtual lock for a double-double recently, with Thursday's serving as his fourth over the last five contests, and 10th in the last 13 overall.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Jonathon Simmons: Ready to play Thursday
Simmons (ankle) has been cleared to play Thursday against Chicago, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports.
Simmons evidently feels good enough to take the court after suffering an ankle injury at practice Wednesday. He'll be deployed off the bench with Jonathan Isaac named as the starter at small forward.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Evan Fournier: Returning to starting lineup
Fournier (personal) will return to the lineup for Thursday's game against the Bulls, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports.
Fournier missed Monday's game against the Mavs while tending to a personal matter, but he's met the team in Mexico City and will move back into the lineup at shooting guard. The Magic are expected to start D.J. Augustin, Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac and Nikola Vucevic for the first time since early November.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Jonathon Simmons: On track to play Thursday
Simmons (ankle) went through shootaround and is on track to play Thursday against the Bulls, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Simmons was listed as questionable as of Wednesday, but it looks as though he's trending closer to 'probable' at this point. His status could end up coming down to a game-time call.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Jonathon Simmons: Questionable vs. Chicago
Simmons (ankle) is officially listed as questionable for Thursday's matchup with the Bulls, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports.
Simmons sprained his right ankle at practice Wednesday, and the team will wait until shootaround Thursday to update his status. The versatile wing had 18 points in Monday's blowout loss at the hands of the Mavs.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Jonathon Simmons: Status unclear for Thursday
Simmons tweaked his right ankle during Wednesday's practice and his status for Thursday's game against the Bulls is unclear, Josh Robbins of The Athletic reports.
Simmons will likely be evaluated after Thursday's morning shootaround. If he misses the contest, Evan Fournier could see more touches while Wesley Iwundu may see extra run.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Evan Fournier: Expected to play Thursday, Saturday
Fournier (personal) is en route to Mexico City and is expected to play Thursday against Bulls and Saturday against the Jazz, Josh Robbins of The Athletic reports.
Fournier missed Monday's tilt against Dallas due to a personal matter, so will travel down separately from the team to Mexico City. He should be expected to re-join the starting five, likely pushing Jonathan Isaac back to the bench.... See More ... See Less
Magic's Mohamed Bamba: Sits out after rules violation
Bamba didn't play in Monday's 101-76 loss to the Mavericks while serving a one-game suspension for violating team rules, Tim McMahon of ESPN.com reports.
Coach Steve Clifford didn't reveal the suspension beforehand, so Bamba's failure to get off the bench likely came as a surprise for those that had been relying on him. It's not expected that Bamba will face any further discipline stemming from the violation, so it's expected he'll re-enter the rotation Thursday against the Bulls. Over his 26 appearances this season, Bamba is averaging 6.6 points (on 49 percent shooting from the field), 4.6 boards, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 assists in 17.0 minutes per contest.... See More ... See Less