The 35-12 Boston Celtics make way to Amway Center to face the 17-29 Orlando Magic tonight at 7 p.m.
The Celtics will try to extend their current winning streak to 10 games. After a two-year absence, Magic’s Jonathan Isaac is projected to return on the court tonight for the first time since August 2020.
In addition, Chuma Okeke (knee) is out for Orlando. For the Celtics, Marcus Smart (ankle) and Malcolm Brogdon (personal) are out, with Robert Williams III (knee) also listed as questionable to return tonight. With Isaac back, the Magic’s ability to defend continues to grow as Isaac was a plus-defender before his major injuries.
What to expect with the Magic
With the dynamic young pair of forwards, Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner, the Magic should be able to benefit from the Celtics’ defense. The frontrunner of Rookie of the Year, Banchero, is currently averaging 20.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, while Wagner is generating 20.5 points per game.
Orlando is in the top 10 of the NBA in free throw creation (25.2 attempts per game) and free throw accuracy (79.4%).
franz wagner over his last five games:
53% 2P • 48% 3P • 81% FT pic.twitter.com/RJecmONh0J
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) January 23, 2023
Orlando is stacked in this position, so this is definitely an opportunity for the team to bring Isaac back in slowly. Admittedly, the expectations for the game are quite low, but this year the Magic need to see him on the court to figure out his base so that he could continue growing moving forward.
On defense, the Magic are solid against opposing 3-point shooters, giving up only 34.4% of shooting. The Magic are also above-average in free throw prevention (23.5 attempts allowed per game) and defensive rebound rate (72.1%).
Celtics vs. Magic Projected Starters
- PG Markelle Fultz
- SG Gary Harris
- SF Franz Wagner
- PF Paolo Banchero
- C Wendell Carter Jr.
- PG Marcus Smart
- SG Jaylen Brown
- SF Jayson Tatum
- PF Al Horford
- C Robert Williams