Orlando Magic vs Houston Rockets: Match Preview and Predictions - 8th March 2020
- In all likelihood, this should be a close one, with the hosts edging past for the W.
Fixture: Orlando Magic vs Houston Rockets
Date & Time: Sunday, 8 March 2020 (6:00 PM ET)
Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Last Game Results
Orlando Magic (28-35): 132-118 win over Minnesota Timberwolves (6 March, Friday)
Houston Rockets (39-23): 99-108 loss to Houston Rockets (7 March, Saturday)
Orlando Magic Preview
Despite missing key pieces in Al-Farouq Aminu (right knee), Evan Fournier (elbow) and Jonathan Isaac (knee), the Orlando Magic have managed to almost bag a playoff berth yet again this season.
Their 28-35 (0.444) win-loss record is currently 8th on the Eastern Conference standings, allowing them a comfortable 4.5 game lead over the 9th seed Washington Wizards. After losing three in a row, Orlando recently beat Minnesota to get one back in the win column.
Key Player - Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic's numbers have taken a noticeable dip from last year, but he is still Orlando's best player by all means. The 29-year-old center is averaging 19.6 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, while shooting 47% from the field this year.
This is his 8th year playing with the Orlando Magic, and his growth over the years is the most underrated and overlooked across the league.
Magic Predicted Lineup
Aaron Gordon, Markelle Fultz, James Ennis III, Nikola Vucevic, Wes Iwundu
Houston Rockets Preview
The Houston Rockets are en route to embracing small ball in its most intriguing form this season. However, their most recent three losses in a row fail to resonate confidence about Coach D'Antoni's newest brainchild.
The Rockets have slipped to the 5th spot on the Western Conference with an underwhelming 39-23 (0.629) next to their name. They surprisingly dropped games against the Knicks and Hornets recently, continuing their oncourt slump as of late.
Key Player - Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook has found his touch in a Rockets uniform, and it couldn't have come at a better time. The 9-time All-Star is averaging 27.5 points per game - highest since his MVP year - and shooting at an efficient 47% clip from the field. He is also averaging 8.1 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game this year.
Westbrook was rested for the Charlotte Hornets clash, and is expected to be back in the lineup for this one.
Rockets Predicted Lineup
PJ Tucker, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Robert Covington, Danuel House Jr.
Magic vs Rockets Match Prediction
Much to their dismay, the Rockets have been dropping easy games lately. Hopefully, the return of Brodie and home court advantage will help them get back on track. In all likelihood, this should be a close one, with the hosts edging past for the W.
Where to Watch Magic vs Rockets?
There will be local coverage of the game on Fox Sports Florida and AT&T Sportsnet - Southwest from 6:00 PM ET. You can also stream the game via NBA League Pass.Published 08 Mar 2020, 16:00 IST