The two rosters look quite different since the NBA trade deadline. While the Orlando Magic look to continue their rebuilding this season, the Portland Trail Blazers have bolstered their roster.
Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers vs Orlando Magic | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Friday, March 26th; 8:00 PM ET (Saturday, March 27th; 5:30 AM IST).
Venue: Amway Center, Orlando, FL.
Orlando Magic Preview
The Orlando Magic's fortunes have turned around in recent games. After dismantling their entire roster, they look more intent on developing a competitive team for next season.
Meanwhile, Aaron Gordon was traded to the Denver Nuggets for Gary Harris, RJ Hampton and draft picks. The Orlando Magic also traded guard Evan Fournier to the Boston Celtics for Jeff Teague and more draft picks.
The Orlando Magic PBO Jeff Weltman said about the team's busy trade deadline,
"We didn't set out on this path when the season started. We felt we could be a homecourt team. Now that I see how the season went, I feel that even more. We got punched in the nose by a historic wave of injuries. This deadline provided the opportunity for a new path to take. I'm excited to take that path. I think we've got great things ahead of us."
Key Player - Dwayne Bacon
Unfortunately for the Orlando Magic, the only player left on their active roster who is even close to scoring double digits is Dwayne Bacon.
He is averaging 9.9 points per game while playing 25 minutes on the floor. The rest of their roster is plagued by injury.
Eight players are either ruled out or listed questionable, including several new players acquired on trade deadline day.
Orlando Magic Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Michael Carter-Williams | Shooting Guard - Dwyane Bacon | Small Forward - James Ennis III | Power Forward - Chuma Okeke | Center - Khem Birch.
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers are fancying their chances of a deep playoff run. With a 26-18 record on the season, they are tied for fifth in the Western Conference, along with the Denver Nuggets.
The Blazers have won four of their last six games and should grab an easy victory over the Orlando Magic. Four of their next five games are against bottom-table lottery teams. So they could further climb up the conference standings to possibly take home-court advantage in the playoffs.
The Portland Trail Blazers recently had CJ McCollum back for the first time in nearly two months. Meanwhile, big man Jusuf Nurkic is expected to return in a week or so as well.
The Trail Blazers traded Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood to the Toronto Raptors to acquire Norman Powell. Powell was averaging a career-high season in Toronto before getting traded, and he looks like be a great pickup by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Powell's addition has increased the Portland Trail Blazers' projected win tally, and the scoring trio of Lillard, McCollum and Powell could be quite potent.
Key Player - Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard has been in sizzling form this season. He did not have the services of Jusuf Nurkic, CJ McCollum and Zach Collins for large swathes this season but still managed to earn victories for his team.
He is averaging 30 points per game on 55% shooting this season and is in conversation for his first-ever MVP award. Lillard's clutch play has been off the charts this year; he is sinking game-winners on a nightly basis, and opposition defenses tend to freak out when he gets the ball in the final minutes.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Damian Lillard | Shooting Guard - CJ McCollum | Small Forward - Derrick Jones Jr. | Power Forward - Robert Covington | Center - Enes Kanter.
Portland Trail Blazers vs Orlando Magic Match Prediction
The Portland Trail Blazers are overwhelming favorites to win this game. With an injury-plagued roster and not a single active player averaging double-digit points, the Orlando Magic have almost no chance of winning this game.
In all likelihood, it could be a blowout win for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Where to watch the Portland Trail Blazers vs Orlando Magic game?
The Portland Trail Blazers vs Orlando Magic game will have local coverage on FOX Sports Florida and NBC Sports Northwest. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.