The return of Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier from injury recently has certainly boosted the Orlando Magic's energy on the floor and talent level. The two combined for 69 points in an impressive win over Brooklyn on Friday and will be looking to bring that form into Boston.
As for the Boston Celtics, their run of 4 losses in five since the All-Star break has dropped them back below .500. Hence, they are in desperate need of a boost of energy if they are to have any hope in the playoffs.
That could mean bringing in additional scoring talent prior to the deadline or a superior big man with their player exception.
Fixture: Orlando Magic vs Boston Celtics | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Sunday, March 21st; 3:30 PM ET (Monday, March 22nd; 1:00 AM IST).
Venue: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Orlando Magic Preview
Riddled with injuries, the Orlando Magic's season has been a write-off. However, their win over the Brooklyn Nets proved what they can do with a few key players back on the roster, including Aaron Gordon.
Missing 17 of the previous 18 games, Gordon returned this week and put up a spectacular 38 point showing, shooting 7-8 from downtown.
The athletic forward has been linked with a move away from the Orlando Magic recently and did his trading stock no damage on Friday. It has been reported that the franchise is asking for a steep price for the 25-year old.
They are within their rights to do so if they are keen to rebuild around their young talent with this season more or less over.
Key Player - Nikola Vucevic
Without Vucevic, the Orlando Magic would be all but dead and buried by this point. He is having his most efficient season on offense, producing career-high points (24.7) and assists (3.9) and continues to be a top defender, allowing 109 points per 100 possessions.
The Magic center has also been linked with trade talks, primarily as an option to protect the paint against the likes of Embiid, Antetokounmpo and Durant in the playoffs.
Vucevic averages a double-double and came out of the All-Star break on a tear, grabbing 13.2 boards and 25.4 points despite the Orlando Magic losing 4 matchups prior to the win over the Nets.
Orlando Magic Predicted Lineup
G Evan Fournier, G Chasson Randle, F Aaron Gordon, F Al-Farouq Aminu, C Nikola Vucevic
Boston Celtics Preview
All eyes have been on Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics front office recently as to whether they will opt for a midseason reshuffle after flirting above and below a .500 record all season.
Of course the C's have had injuries, most notably to Marcus Smart. However, the problems on both ends of the floor go deeper than that and without several changes before the deadline they will struggle to compete in this season's playoffs - should they make it.
Back-to-back losses over the Cavs and Kings this week don't bode well as the Boston Celtics get ready to welcome the Orlando Magic, who would have no fear given their record.
Key Player - Jayson Tatum
Despite Boston Celtics' troubles, Jayson Tatum is having a career-year and has come out of being an All-Star starter for the first time, averaging 25.4 points across 5 games. Tatum is an elite two-way guard who can do it all and whose production per 36 minutes is superior in points and assists to last year.
Both he and Jaylen Brown have done their best to keep the Boston Celtics relevant in the East this year, but need offensive help on the wings.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
G Kemba Walker, G Marcus Smart, F Jayson Tatum, F Jaylen Brown, C Daniel Theis
Magic vs Celtics Match Prediction
These are two of the league's bottom-ten defenses with 3 All-Stars on the floor, therefore fans can expect an enthralling matchup.
Although traditionally it would be expected that the Boston Celtics would take the win, particularly on home court, their current roster feels out of sorts and could pave the way for an Orlando Magic upset.
If Tristan Thompson is not cleared from covid regulations, the Boston Celtics will have a tough time containing Vucevic and Gordon in the paint. Riding high on their win over Brooklyn could give the Orlando Magic the edge in this contest.
Where to watch the Magic vs Celtics Matchup
Fans in America can watch the game on Fox Sports Florida and NBC Sports Boston. Otherwise, with an NBA League Pass you can stream the game live or on playback.