Oklahoma City Thunder vs Orlando Magic: Match Preview and Predictions - 22nd January 2020
Date & Time: Wednesday, 22 January 2020 (7:00 PM ET)
Venue: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Last Game Results
Oklahoma City Thunder (25-19): Won 112-107 against the Houston Rockets (Monday, 20 January)
Orlando Magic (21-23): Won 106-83 against the Charlotte Hornets (Monday, 20 January)
Oklahoma City Thunder Preview
The Oklahoma City Thunder traded away their 2 franchise stars, Russell Westbrook and Paul George, this off-season, and were expected to be one of the bottom-feeders in the tough Western Conference.
Instead, the Thunder have been one of the surprise packages of the season and are playing some of the most entertaining basketball with youngster Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, under the tutelage of Chris Paul. Danilo Gallinari is having a great year too which has led the Thunder to the 7th seed, with a 25-19 record. They would look to keep rolling against the Orlando Magic.
Key Player - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
While the Thunder have quietly been putting together a solid season, there has been nothing quiet about the meteoric rise of guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has taken a huge leap this season after being traded from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging a massive 20 points per game, along with 5.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists as well. He has improved drastically under Chris Paul, and the three-guard lineup of Paul, Gilgeous-Alexander and Denis Schroder seems unstoppable.
The Thunder will be hoping that Gilgeous-Alexander comes up with the goods against the Magic and helps them get the win.
Thunder predicted lineup
Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, Danilo Gallinari and Steven Adams
Orlando Magic Preview
The Orlando Magic have become a consistent team of late, and have been in the playoff picture for the last two seasons now. Their resurgence is being led by All-Star Nikola Vucevic, along with Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac and the 2017 #1 pick Markelle Fultz, who has risen from the ashes and has become the best playmaker on this team.
The Magic have had a tumultuous start to the season, having lost four of their last 10 games, and have a 21-23 record. They are in the 7th spot and are far away from breaking into the top 6.
The Magic will face the Oklahoma City Thunder looking to get back to winning ways again.
Key Player - Markelle Fultz
After two disappointing years with the Philadelphia 76ers, Markelle Fultz is finally blossoming into the player we all loved in college at Washington. He has taken over the starting point guard role from veteran DJ Augustin, and has established himself as the go-to player for the Orlando Magic this season.
Fultz is averaging 12 points, 4.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game, a marked improvement compared to his previous year averages. He also seems to have no problem shooting the ball this season, shooting over 46% from the field.
His 3-point shot is still a problem, but at least he is attempting 3s. The Magic have an All-Star in Vucevic, but Fultz has recently become more commanding and will look to keep it going against the Thunder.
Magic Predicted lineup
Markelle Fultz, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Khem Birch and Nikola Vucevic
Thunder vs Magic match prediction
While the Orlando Magic are improving each year, they are missing a key defensive star in Jonathan Isaac, who has held them together at the defensive end. They will face a really tough time against the Paul-led Thunder, who should be expected to win this game.
Where to watch Thunder vs Magic?
You can catch the game live on Fox Sports Oklahoma or on Fox Sports Florida. You can also watch the game online via the NBA league pass.Published 22 Jan 2020, 02:54 IST