Snapping a six-game losing streak with a 109-104 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, the Orlando Magic are a rejuvenated team even though they’re headed for the lottery. While management has other plans for the team, the players are determined to go down fighting, with only 11 games left this season.
The Memphis Grizzlies, meanwhile, are on a two-game losing streak. They are eighth in the Western Conference with a 31-30 record on the season, with only 3.5 games separating the teams placed seventh to tenth.
Fixture - Orlando Magic vs Memphis Grizzlies | 2020-21 NBA Season.
Date & Time - Friday, April 30th; 8:00 PM ET (Saturday, May 1st; 5:30 AM IST).
Venue - FedExForum, Memphis, TN.
Orlando Magic Preview
With a 19-43 record on the season, the third-worst in the league this season, the Orlando Magic are hoping to catch the Memphis Grizzlies while they’re vulnerable. The win against the Cavs was good for the Magic's morale. They gave up a 23-point lead but were able to eke out the victory through a balanced scoring attack.
Rookie Cole Anthony scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, including four of the last five points, to seal the win for the Orlando Magic. Five players scored in double-figures, with Gary Harris leading the pack with 19 points.
Against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Orlando Magic will be facing a team similar to themselves, as the visitors are also seeking balance in their offense.
Key Player - Cole Anthony
One of the few bright spots in a gloomy season for the Orlando Magic, Cole Anthony has been a consistent performer. The clutch layup and two free throws during the final minute of the game in his last outing show his fearlessness and tenacity.
The 20-year old has been averaging 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and six assists per game in his last seven outings. He will have to be ready to put on a show once again when he goes up against Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Orlando Magic Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Cole Anthony l Shooting Guard - Gary Harris l Small Forward - James Ennis III l Power Forward - Wendell Carter Jr. l Center - Mo Bamba.
Memphis Grizzlies Preview
The Memphis Grizzlies have only won four of their last eight games as they look for consistency while playing at home for the second straight match. They will have to recover from two straight blowout losses if they want to arrest their two-game slide.
It will be a bit more difficult for the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, as they will be shorthanded. Aside from resting Jaren Jackson Jr. due to injury management in the first of a back-to-back game, Grayson Allen is doubtful to play this game.
Desmond Bane will have to pick up the slack for Allen if his teammate misses out.
Key Player - Ja Morant
Ja Morant has been playing sensational basketball in the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately, his big performances haven’t always resulted in his team's win. Last year’s Rookie of the Year winner has turned up the volume in his game recently.
In his last six games, Morant has put up 26 points, six rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.5 steals a night. He also shot 55.7% from the field and 46.2% from the three during that stretch.
The Memphis Grizzlies guard could have a big game against the Orlando Magic, as his team's playoff hopes are on the line.
Memphis Grizzlies Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Ja Morant l Shooting Guard - Desmond Bane l Small Forward - Dillon Brooks l Power Forward - Kyle Anderson l Center - Jonas Valanciunas.
Magic vs Grizzlies Match Prediction
The Memphis Grizzlies have more at stake when they take on the Orlando Magic on Friday. Though it would be a battle between two teams that tend to distribute the load offensively, Morant and Anthony could go at each other in an entertaining duel between two young point guards.
Morant is expected to win this contest and carry the Memphis Grizzlies to a victory over the Orlando Magic.