The Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers may not be the top seeds in the Eastern conference, but they are two of the hottest teams in the league. Both teams own a 2-0 record since the restart.
Earlier in the regular season, the Pacers beat the Magic both times. However, neither team looks the same as before.
Magic lose Isaac to injury
Orlando (32-35) rolled to easy victories against the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings. As a result, the Magic have a half-game lead on Brooklyn and are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
On the negative side, Orlando forward Jonathan Isaac left the game against Sacramento after a hard fall in the paint. He exited in a wheelchair.
Later, the team announced that Isaac suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. Isaac previously injured that same knee on New Year’s Day. That injury kept him sidelined for more than two months.
While the loss of Isaac hurts Orlando, the team has enough depth to retain its recent success. Six players finished with double-figures in scoring in both games. Terrence Ross led the Magic with 25 points off the bench against Sacramento.
Warren leading the charge for Pacers
Indiana (41-26) knocked off the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards in its first two contests. One player led the Pacers in scoring in both games: T.J. Warren.
Warren torched the 76ers with a career-best 53 points. Then, he scored 34 and added 11 rebounds against Washington. Pacers coach Nate McMillan praised his team for efficiently feeding Warren.
Warren’s production seems to fill a hole left by the absence of Domantas Sabonis, who is out due to a foot injury. Sabonis led the Pacers in scoring in both earlier regular-season games against Orlando.
With Sabonis and Isaac out, both teams will look a little different tonight. The Magic and Pacers square off at 6 p.m. from the bubble.
Sound used in this story courtesy of ESPN and ABC Newscall.