UPDATE: TODAY’S GAME HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE PLAYER STRIKE IN RESPONSE TO THE SHOOTING DEATH OF JACOB BLAKE. THE LEAGUE ANNOUNCED THE GAME WILL BE POSTPONED TO A FUTURE DATE.
The Orlando Magic face elimination for the first time, hoping to extend the series to six games and build off a strong showing from Game 4 with a huge victory.
Orlando Magic vs. Milwaukee Bucks (MIL leads series 3-1)
Time/TV: 4 p.m./NBATV, FOX Sports Florida
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2020 Season Series: Bucks 123, Magic 91 in Orlando on Nov. 1; Bucks 110, Magic 101 in Milwaukee on Dec. 9; Bucks 111, Magic 100 in Milwaukee on Dec. 28; Bucks 111, Magic 95 in Orlando on Feb. 8
Playoff Series: Game 1 – Magic 122, Bucks 110; Game 2 – Bucks 111, Magic 96; Game 3 — Bucks 121, Magic 107; Game 4 — Bucks 121, Magic 106; Game 5 — Today at NBA Campus
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No one should fault the Orlando Magic for their fight in this series. They have played hard and well. Maybe if Aaron Gordon or Jonathan Isaac were healthy this series would have played out a bit differently. The Magic certainly should feel good about their showing — better than last year for sure. Nikola Vucevic has played like a superstar. Unfortunately, every game in this series — ever game this season against the Milwaukee Bucks — has gone the exact same way. The Magic are competitive except for one stretch of play. And that one stretch buries them. Orlando has struggled to put together 48 minutes against this Milwaukee team and that is what it takes to win.
1) The Orlando Magic know they have to fight and stay with things to force a Game 6 in this series, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel writes. There were a lot more positives than negatives in the Game 4 loss.
2) Facing elimination, the Orlando Magic cannot try to reinvent themselves. They just have to focus on who they are more.
3) Evan Fournier’s postseason struggles have proven costly for Orlando Magic, Dan Bennett writes. His playoff slump has come at the worst time for his team and himself, Josh Robbins of The Athletic writes.
4) Giannis Antetokounmpo has been at the top of his game in the Milwaukee Bucks’ first round series, Adam McGee of Behind the Buck Pass writes.
5) The Orlando Magic have tried to wall off Giannis Antetokounmpo. It is the only strategy that possibly works against the likely MVP.
6) The Milwaukee Bucks are back to hitting open 3-pointers, Jordan Treske of Behind the Buck Pass writes.
7) After police shot an unarmed black man in Kenosha, Wis., the Milwaukee Bucks continue to speak out for racial injustice.
8) Michael Maurer of Brew Hoop tells Mike Cali of Orlando Pinstriped Post that the Orlando Magic have continued to fight and put up a strong effort in the series so far, but the Milwaukee Bucks are simply a battering ram proving too much for the undermanned Magic.
9) Garrett Townsend of Orlando Pinstriped Post breaks down what went wrong in the fourth quarter of Game 4.
10) The Milwaukee Bucks are also questioning their rotations and lineups, but it may not matter in this series, Brian Sampson of Brew Hoop writes.
11) The Orlando Magic have had to face all of their big questions and there are still questions how they may answer them.
12) Orlando Magic assistant GM Pete D’Alessandro has proven to be the most valuable person in the bubble for the team, Josh Robbins of The Athletic writes. It was the cap expert’s job to break down and simplify the league’s memos concerning the coronavirus, testing policy and life in the bubble.
13) Jake Weinbach of HoopsHabit breaks down the pros and cons of using Giannis Antetokounmpo at center.
15) In Game 4, the Milwaukee Bucks finally cashed in with Khris Middleton.
16) In the hand-wringing over NBA ratings, the league is still in good shape as TV ratings are down across the board thanks to rampant cord-cutting, The Athletic writes. The NBA’s advantage is its TV deals across the world.
17) How the NBA partnered with a Yale study to come up with a new way to test for COVID-19, from Jon Krawczynski and Jared Weiss of The Athletic.