A bit late posting this, but the Magic have sent Nikola Vucevic back to Orlando after the starting center suffered a consussion in Monday's loss to the Clippers. Vucevic will have to go through the NBA's concussion protocols before being cleared to play. It seemed very unlikely that he would play at all during this road trip.
The Magic are sending Nik Vucevic (concussion) home.
— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) January 9, 2014
The next game he could possibly play in, if he is cleared, is next Wednesday's homecoming game against Chicago.
That will make the remainder of this road trip very difficult.
Orlando faces a bevy of bigs the rest of the way with DeMarcus Cousins of the Kings due up Friday, Kenneth Faried and his acrobatic rebounding ability Saturday and then Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks on Monday.
The Magic are 0-2 on this current road trip with a blowout loss in Los Angeles to the Clippers and a much stronger effort but ultimately a loss withouth Vucevic in Portland to the Trail Blazers. Against Portland, Orlando was outrebounded 47-42. The Trail Blazers had an 11-10 advantage on the offensive glass and a 25.6 to 21.7 percent advantage in offensive rebound rate.
The Magic held their own against LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez. For the most part at least. It will be seen how the Magic can do this in the long term for the next three games or longer with Vucevic out of the lineup.
The Magic are clearly better with Vucevic on the floor — 99.1 offensive rating/103.7 defensive rating with him on the floor compared to 97.1 offensive rating/101.6 defensive rating with him off the floor. So it will be tough for the Magic to get their 11th win with him out. So far this season, the Magic are 0-7 in games without Vucevic.