Pacers at Magic

Pacers Clicking on Defense

November 9, 2019 - T.J. McConnell, Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. Warren discuss how the team's defense is coming together.

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Pacers Clicking on Defense

November 9, 2019 - T.J. McConnell, Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. Warren discuss how the team's defense is coming together.
Nov 9, 2019  |  01:54

Game Preview: Pacers at Magic

Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 6:00 PM ET at Amway Center
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor





Matchup

The Pacers (5-4) hope to extend their most recent winning streak to three games as they head to Florida to take on the Orlando Magic (3-6) on Sunday night. After surprisingly squeaking into the playoffs last year and even stealing a win from the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors, Orlando has high hopes to reach the playoffs once again behind the play of All-Star Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Jonathan Isaac, the third-year forward from Florida State.

The Magic are coming off arguably their best performance of this short NBA season, scoring a season-high 118 points in a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night while limiting the Grizzlies to just 86 points. Vucevic led all players with 23 points and 16 rebounds, while Jonathan Isaac added 22 points and eight boards on 9-of-11 shooting in the rout.

However, despite the 118-point performance two nights ago, the Magic have been struggling to find the net to start the season. The team is averaging an NBA-worst 98.8 points per 100 possessions. They've failed to reach the 100-point mark in seven of their first nine games. In their six losses, the Magic are averaging just 7.3 made 3-pointers per game. With the Pacers defense improving over the last few games, the matchup certainly favors the Blue & Gold — especially if the NBA's leading shot blocker from one year ago, Myles Turner, can finally play again.

Ironically, the one facet of play the Magic are currently excelling in is defense. Despite only winning three games, the Magic post the NBA's third-best defensive rating, limiting opponents to just 99.3 points per 100 possessions. They're the only team ranked in the top five for this statistic that does not have at least six wins on the season.

In order for the Pacers to break through the Orlando's stingy defense, they'll most likely have to have another balanced scoring night from the team. This will make it difficult for Orlando to key in on one or two scorers and shut down Indiana's offense. Reserves such as Doug McDermott, T.J. McConnell, and Justin Holiday may have to have another double-digit scoring performance to take some pressure off the starters.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Aaron Holiday, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - JaKarr Sampson, C - Domantas Sabonis
Magic: PG - Markelle Fultz, SG - Evan Fournier, SF - Jonathan Isaac, PF - Aaron Gordon, C - Nikola Vucevic

Injury Report

Pacers: Myles Turner - questionable (right ankle sprain), Goga Bitadze - out (concussion), Jeremy Lamb - out (left ankle sprain), Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery rehab), Edmond Sumner - out (right hand fracture)

Magic: Terrence Ross – questionable (sore right knee)

Last Meeting

March 30, 2019: After the Boston Celtics lost earlier in the day, the Pacers were presented with a chance to move back into position for the fourth seed for the 2018-19 NBA Playoffs. However, the Magic used a 17-6 run in the fourth quarter to open up a nine-point lead and fended off Indiana down the stretch to earn the 121-116 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Aaron Gordon finished with a double-double, scoring 23 points and gathering 10 boards.

Darren Collison scored a season-high 24 points in the game while Myles Turner recorded his 17th double-double on the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds. But their performances weren't enough after surrendering over 120 points at home.

"It was a big loss and a pretty disappointing game for us," Pacers forward Bojan Bogdanovic said. "We showed completely two different faces (between) last night and tonight.
"Playing at home and letting (Orlando) score 120 points, it's impossible to win that way."

"It's unacceptable," Collison said after the game. "We can't lose a game like that, especially at home. Especially when everything is going our way most of the game. It's a tough loss for us but it was inexcusable on our part."

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers hold a 61-49 all-time record against the Magic in the regular season.
  • After winning eight straight games against the Magic from 2016-2018, the Blue & Gold have dropped their last three games against Orlando.
  • Both the Pacers and the Magic have scored 100 points or more in the last three matchups. The Magic have scored 110 points or more in the last two.

Tickets

The Pacers return to Bankers Life Fiedhouse to host Chris Paul and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)

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