The New Orleans Pelicans visit the Amway Center to take on the Orlando Magic on Thursday. Both teams are on a losing streak and will look to end their skids at the expense of the other. The Pelicans are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the under-manned Brooklyn Nets, while the Orlando Magic are currently focusing on their future and are unafraid to lose games this season.
Fixture: New Orleans Pelicans vs Orlando Magic | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Thursday, April 22nd, 2021; 7:00 PM ET (Friday, April 23rd; 4:30 AM IST).
Venue: Amway Center, Orlando, FL.
Orlando Magic Preview
The Orlando Magic have embraced their rebuild. Their only goal this season is to focus on player development and coach Steve Clifford has done a great job of it so far. Although they lost to the Atlanta Hawks, five players on the roster scored in double digits. Wendell Carter Jr. and Cole Anthony scored 17 points each. Gary Harris had an average outing against Houston, going 0-7 but scored 14 points against the Hawks while continuing to contribute on the defensive end of the floor.
Dwayne Bacon has shown progress lately. He dropped 22 points against Houston and scored 10 in their last outing against Atlanta. However, several players are listed as injured for this game which reduces their chances of winning. Michael Carter-Williams (ankle), Otto Porter Jr. (foot), James Ennis III (calf), Terrence Ross (back), Jonathan Isaac (back) and Markelle Fultz (knee) are all either injured or questionable.
Key Player - Cole Anthony
Rookie Cole Anthony has been one of the highlights of the Orlando Magic's season, despite being injured for a long time. He is the son of former Portland Trail Blazers player Greg Anthony. Cole is averaging 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game this season. He also dropped a career-high 21 points against the Hornets, shooting 8-12 from the field, including 4-5 from three.
Orlando Magic Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Gary Harris | Shooting Guard - Cole Anthony | Small Forward - Dwayne Bacon | Power Forward - Chuma Okeke | Center - Wendell Carter Jr.
New Orleans Pelicans Preview
The New Orleans Pelicans are currently 11th in the conference standings and have a chance to enter the play-in tournament. They are 3 wins behind the San Antonio Spurs, who face the 2nd-toughest remaining schedule and are predicted to fall in the standings. If the Pelicans pull up their socks and win the better part of their remaining 14 fixtures, we might see Zion Williamson and co. in postseason action.
The team is coming off a tough loss against the injury-riddled Brooklyn Nets. The Pelicans kept the score close for most of the game, but Kyrie Irving's late-game heroics pulled his side to victory at the end. The Pelicans have now lost their last four games in a row, including losing both their matchups with the New York Knicks.
Key Player - Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson is the heart and soul of the New Orleans Pelicans. It is safe to say he has met the hype and expectations surrounding him. Williamson is averaging 26.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game on a remarkable 61.4% shooting. He leads the league in FG% for any player averaging over 20 PPG. The 20-year-old recently debuted his first signature shoe, the Air Jordan Zion 1.
New Orleans Pelicans Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Lonzo Ball | Shooting Guard - Eric Bledsoe | Small Forward - Brandon Ingram | Power Forward - Zion Williamson | Center - Steven Adams.
Pelicans vs Magic Match Prediction
The New Orleans Pelicans are the obvious favorites to win this game. The Orlando Magic are focusing on getting a high pick in the upcoming draft and have no intention of winning games. Moreover, the Pelicans boast an entirely healthy starting lineup, whereas the Magic are facing a bevy of injuries.
Where to watch the Pelicans vs Magic game?
The New Orleans Pelicans vs Orlando Magic game will be locally televised on Bally Sports New Orleans (NO) and Bally Sports Florida. The game can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.