It's been a hectic week for both the Orlando Magic and LA Lakers, who face off at Staples Center on Sunday. The Magic had a firesale before the trade deadline as stars Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic were all shipped off. The Lakers, meanwhile, have been forced to compete without both Anthony Davis and LeBron James, who will remain sidelined for this match.
With their former stars, the Orlando Magic were able to overcome the Phoenix Suns and Brooklyn Nets in their past four matchups. Those that remain fell to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. It was a gritty performance from an inexperienced Magic side as seven players scored over 10 points in a narrow loss.
The Lakers, meanwhile, come into this fixture on the back of their first win since LeBron James limped off with an injury against the Atlanta Hawks last weekend. The Lakers had lost four straight matches but managed to end that run against the Cleveland Cavaliers in their last match.
Orlando Magic vs LA Lakers: Injury Updates
The Orlando Magic are on a completely new path for the season's run-in. The team acquired RJ Hampton, Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. before the trade deadline, but none featured in the loss against the Trail Blazers. They all remain questionable for the trip to face the LA Lakers. Guard Gary Harris has also been ruled out with a thigh injury.
Orlando Magic's young stars Cole Anthony, Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz will also remain sidelined for the trip to Los Angeles.
While the LA Lakers injury report is not as substantial as Orlando's, it is just as important to their success, if not more. Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis' return dates remain unclear, with the franchise prepared to take time with their stars' recovery.
The Lakers are five games clear of the San Antonio Spurs, who are eighth in the Western Conference standings and therefore will not be too concerned with their recent losses. Marc Gasol returned to the lineup against the Philadelphia 76ers after spending a few weeks on the sidelines, a welcome return for the Lakers.
Orlando Magic vs LA Lakers: Predicted Lineups
The Orlando Magic will likely lineup similar to what they did on Friday night against the Trail Blazers. None of the Magic's starters played in the game before the mass exodus on deadline day, but they all proved themselves worthy of a spot in the starting five against the Lakers.
Chuma Okeke led the Magic with 22 points and six rebounds on the night while center Khem Birch grabbed a double-double. In the backcourt, Dwayne Bacon and Chasson Randle combined for 27 points and will be competing for game time with Gary Harris when the new shooting guard returns from injury.
For the LA Lakers, their starting lineup is far more straightforward to predict. Guard Dennis Schroder has stepped up his performances since LeBron went down injured and has averaged 18.5 points over his last four games. He will be joined in the backcourt by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
In the paint, Marc Gasol is back in the rotation alongside Montrezl Harrell, who scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds off the bench against the Cavs. Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris will retain their positions in the frontcourt to complete the starting lineup.
Orlando Magic vs LA Lakers: Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Chasson Randle | Shooting Guard - Dwayne Bacon | Small Forward - James Ennis III | Power Forward - Chuma Okeke | Center - Khem Birch
Point Guard - Dennis Schroder | Shooting Guard - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope | Small Forward - Kyle Kuzma | Power Forward - Markieff Morris | Center - Marc Gasol