Get ready for a battle in the Eastern Conference of the NBA as the Indiana Pacers lock horns with the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center on Friday.
Both sides previously clashed in an entertaining battle, where Malcolm Brogdon of the Indiana Pacers drilled home the game-winning shot in overtime to guide his side to a 120-118 victory.
Brogdon tallied 23 points on the night, while Domantas Sabonis chipped in with 18 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. For the Orlando Magic, former players Evan Fournier (26 points) and Nikola Vucevic (24 points, 12 rebounds) led the charge on the night.
Fast forward to April and the new-look Orlando Magic have continued to slump. They are coming off a three-game skid that has placed them 14th in the East, thanks to a 17-34 record.
Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers are in the hunt for a playoff spot as they currently hold ninth place in the East with a 23-27 record, one game behind the New York Knicks.
A win in this matchup could potentially tie them for eighth place alongside the Knicks.
Fixture: Indiana Pacers vs. Orlando Magic Prediction - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Friday, April 9th, 2021, 7:00 PM ET. (Saturday 4:30 AM IST)
Venue: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Indiana Pacers Preview
With several star-caliber players out of the lineup, the Indiana Pacers exhibited a beautiful display of winning basketball against the Minnesota Timberwolves in their previous outing. Nate Bjorkgren's side witnessed as many as seven players scoring in double digits en route to their 23rd win of the season.
Justin Holiday (21 points) and Aaron Holiday (22 points) led the team in the scoring department, while TJ McConnell was impressive on both ends of the court. He had 19 points to go along with 15 rebounds and three assists in 35 minutes from the floor.
Caris LeVert was his illustrious self, tallying 18 points, five boards and four assists on the night.
The Indiana Pacers will hope to see Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner back in the lineup when they take on the Orlando Magic on Friday. The Pacers have the pieces to make a splash in the postseason and could pull off an upset in the upcoming Play-in tournament.
Key Player - Caris LeVert
Caris LeVert has elevated his game for the Indiana Pacers in the most recent stretch. He shot a super-efficient 50% from the field in his last three appearances, including two games where he tallied 20 points or above.
The Indiana Pacers will need LeVert to pull out all the stops once again as they lock horns with the Magic on Friday night.
In 26 games this season, LeVert is averaging 17.3 points on 42% shooting from the field. In addition to his scoring, the 26-year-old guard is dishing out 5.2 assists while collecting 4.8 rebounds per contest.
Indiana Pacers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Edmond Sumner l Shooting Guard - Caris LeVert l Small Forward - Justin Holiday l Power Forward - Doug McDermott l Center - Goga Bitadze
Orlando Magic Preview
After impressive wins against the LA Clippers and the New Orleans Pelicans, the Orlando Magic have since lost three straight games to stay well below .500 on the season.
On a more positive note, the team is witnessing strong showings from their young guns in Chuma Okeke and Mohamed Bamba. Meanwhile, veterans Michael Carter-Williams and Terrence Ross have increased production from the floor since the trade deadline.
The Orlando Magic are coming off a loss to the Washington Wizards. Despite the loss, Steve Clifford's side displayed an all-round performance with six players scoring in double digits on the night.
Leading the pack was Terrence Ross, who registered a team-high 24 points to go along with six boards and three assists. Meanwhile, Mohamed Bamba dazzled with a 19-point outing in which he also added eight boards in 25 minutes from the floor. The result marked the Magic's 34th loss of the campaign.
Key player – Terrence Ross
Terrence Ross has emerged as the best player on the new-look Orlando Magic squad. He is coming off a team-high 24-point outing in the loss to the Wizards.
Ross is averaging 17.8 points over the past five games for the Orlando Magic and could prove to be a key player in their matchup against the Pacers on Friday. In 41 games this season, Ross is averaging 16.2 points on 40% shooting from the field. He is also adding 3.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals per contest.
Orlando Magic Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Michael Carter-Williams l Shooting Guard - James Ennis l Small Forward - Dwayne Bacon l Power Forward - Chuma Okeke l Center - Khem Birch
Pacers vs. Magic Match Prediction
The shorthanded Indiana Pacers proved their mettle in their previous matchup and will enter this contest as favorites to win this tie. With or without their stars, the Pacers have enough pieces to defeat the slumping Orlando Magic and improve their record further.
Watch out for Justin Holiday and Aaron Holiday, as the duo could produce another stellar outing in Friday's contest.
Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic have struggled throughout the season and could face an uphill battle against a Pacers squad that has been firing on all cylinders of late. Expect Nate Bjorkgren's men to take this one.
Where to watch Pacers vs. Magic?
The game between the Indiana Pacers and the Orlando Magic will be telecast on Bally Sports Florida and Bally Sports Indiana. Fans can also live stream the game via the NBA League Pass.