The Orlando Magic step out of the pan and into the fire as they head up to Milwaukee to take on the Milwaukee Bucks after holding on to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers.
Orlando Magic (14-17) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (28-5)
Time/TV: 8:30 p.m./FOX Sports Florida
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The Action Network’s Line: Bucks by 11
Tickets: $36-$549 on StubHub
2020 Season Series: Bucks 123, Magic 91 in Orlando on Nov. 1; Bucks 110, Magic 101 in Milwaukee on Dec. 9; Tonight in Milwaukee; Feb. 8 in Orlando
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Both the Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks traveled form the Southeast for this matchup in Milwaukee. So neither will have the rest advantage. Except for Giannis Antetokounmpo that is. Antetokounmpo sat out the Milwaukee Bucks’ game against the Atlanta Hawks with a sore back. They still easily dispatched of the Hawks. Nobody should sleep on the Bucks. The Magic will have to display the same physicality and attention to detail on the glass as they have the last two games. Ultimately, it is Antetokounmpo’s presence that might determine a lot of this game. As of the 1:30 p.m. injury report, Antetokounmpo is listed as out.
1) The landing was rough for the Orlando Magic, but they got their marquee win in stifling the Philadelphia 76ers and earning a one-point win. The Magic’s stifling defense was key to the victory and to the Magic getting the wins they desire, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com writes.
2) Without Giannis Antetokounmpo in the lineup, the Milwaukee Bucks put on a show defeating the Atlanta Hawks in blowout fashion. Khris Middleton’s consistency in his approach was a big part of this success, Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes.
3) The mood inside the Orlando Magic locker room after their win over the Philadelphia 76ers was contented focus, Aaron Goldstone of Orlando Pinstriped Post writes. They know the one win does not mean anything if they do not build upon it.
4) Aaron Gordon showed his value defensively and why the Orlando Magic must be cautious with him at the trade deadline in Friday’s win, Josh Robbins of The Athletic writes.
5) The Milwaukee Bucks’ defense has become the best in the NBA not by being good at everything but by being really good at one thing — protecting the paint, Mike Prada of SBNation writes.
6) The Milwaukee Bucks are entering a soft part of their schedule and they hope to continue their dominance over teams with records worse than .500, Adam McGee of Behind The Buck Pass writes.
7) The Orlando Magic’s foundation is still growing and being re-discovered. It is still a fragile thing that needs care from this team. But the Magic’s defense is starting to show signs of life.
8) NBA executives clearly see the Orlando Magic’s upcoming quandary regarding Evan Fournier’s future.
9) After a weekend at the G-League Showcase, John Hollinger of The Athletic believes the trade deadline will focus on smaller moves to bolster depth rather than big league-shattering changes.
10) I opened up the Orlando Magic Daily Mailbag to answer your questions about the season so far and the trade deadline looming ahead.
11) Al-Farouq Aminu suffered a setback in his recovery from a torn meniscus in his right knee. His return date is still undetermined.
12) Markelle Fultz is thriving in his hypothetical rookie year, Jean Racine writes.
13) Markelle Fultz still views former teammate Joel Embiid as a mentor in his career, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com writes.
14) Aaron Gordon was named the San Jose Mercury News’ High School Boys’ Basketball Player of the Decade for the San Jose area.