Pregame: Will the Orlando Magic Put A Halt on The New York Knicks Winning Ways?
The New York Knicks are coming off an incredible win over the Charlotte Hornets last night. Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis is on a torrid scoring start to the season. But the Orlando Magic have found success over the league’s premiere big men led teams so far this season.
The Orlando Magic (6-4) are coming off their first set of back to back losses on the season. The New York Knicks (6-4) are coming to Orlando winners of their last three games. Tonight, will be a good measuring stick for both clubs.
Elfrid Payton Status Remains Unclear
The Orlando Magic were wishful that starting point guard Elfrid Payton would be rested and ready for tonight’s game. After Tuesday’s practice, team officials are debating whether to continue to rest Payton after he strained his right hamstring earlier this season.
Frank Vogel indicated Payton felt soreness and tightness in his left hamstring and might not play.
“He looked great again,” Vogel said. “He still has some tightness in there, that we’re concerned about. So we’ll see how he feels. If it’s significant, then we’ll hold him out again. We want to be smart about it. Hopefully, he’s able to go.”
If Orlando is without Payton for the ninth consecutive game, it could be a tough night for the offense averaging just 85.5 points per game without Payton and reserve DJ Augustin.
Kristaps Porzingis’ Scoring Streak
Porzingis enters Wednesday’s contest averaging 30.2 points per game. He ranks second only behind Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Porzingis set a Knicks franchise record for most points in the first 10 games of a season with 300 total points after Tuesdays home win against the Charlotte Hornets. He has scored 30 or more points seven times this season and will likely need to make it eight if the New York Knicks have any chance of winning tonight’s game.
Keys to the Game For the Orlando Magic
The Magic will have to pick their poison tonight against the Knicks. Without a true defensive ace to guard the 7’3 Kristaps Porzingis, the team will likely use a mixture of Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, and Nikola Vucevic. Gordon expects to see significant time against him tonight.
“He’s a tough matchup for sure.” Gordon said. “I’m just going to go out there and make it difficult for him, take him out of his comfort zone, crowd him, be athletic, run him up and down the court.”
The Magic have cooled off from their hot three-point shooting over the past two games, and will look to bounce back against the Knicks.