After losing their only game to the Memphis Grizzlies last week, the Orlando Magic are 16-38 and in 12th place in the Eastern Conference. The Magic are one game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers (15-39), and six games ahead of the last-place Milwaukee Bucks (9-43). Orlando trails the 11th-place Boston Celtics (19-35) by three games.
The Magic have four games this week, three of which are against teams well under .500, but with only one home game. Here is the schedule for the week:
Tuesday, February 18th: Magic at Bucks, 8:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
Orlando takes the worst road record in the NBA at 3-23 to Milwaukee, who has the league's worst home record at 5-21 in addition to the league's worst record overall. The Magic have already beaten the Bucks twice in Orlando earlier this season. To make things worse for the Bucks, center Larry Sanders will miss the next six weeks with a fractured right orbital bone. Shooting guard O.J. Mayo has not played since late January with an illness. Point guard Brandon Knight leads the Bucks in scoring, averaging 16.7 points per game on 51.8 percent True Shooting.
Wednesday, February 19th: Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
The disappointing Cavaliers are playing somewhat better after firing general manager Chris Grant in early February, as they have won four games in a row. They are still well under .500 at 20-33, but are just three games out of a playoff spot in the East. Point guard Kyrie Irving leads the Cavs, averaging 21.5 points per game on 52.9 percent True Shooting along with 6.2 assists. Luol Deng, acquired from the Chicago Bulls in January, is struggling with his new team, averaging 14.6 points per game on inefficient 50.7 percent True Shooting. Number one overall pick Anthony Bennett has had a few respectable games of late, but is still only averaging 3.8 points per game on awful 39.6 percent True Shooting.
The Cavaliers are 2-0 this season against the Magic, defeating them both at home and on the road.
Friday, February 21st: New York Knicks at Magic, 7:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
The struggling Knicks, at 20-32, find themselves just one-half game ahead of Cleveland, and like the Cavaliers are still very much alive for a playoff spot. They do have one of the league's most explosive scorers in forward Carmelo Anthony, who averages 27.3 points per game on above-average 55.5 percent True Shooting. Anthony is also averaging a career-high 8.6 rebounds per game. Off-season trade acquisition Andrea Bargnani is out for the rest of the season with a torn left ACL. Swingman J.R. Smith averages 13.0 points per game, but on just 49.3 percent True Shooting.
This will be the final meeting in 2013-14 for the two teams, as the Knicks will try to sweep the three-game series.
Sunday, February 23rd: Magic at Toronto Raptors, 6:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
The Raptors, at 28-24, are currently the number-three seed in the East in a multiple-team battle. They lead the Bulls by one game for that third seed. Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan leads the Raptors, averaging 22.4 points per game but on below-average 52.2 percent True Shooting. Underrated point guard Kyle Lowry averages 16.6 points per game on 57.5 percent True Shooting along with 7.6 assists. Lowry had a terrific game against the Magic in late January, scoring 33 points with 11 assists to lead the Raptors to a 98-83 victory in Toronto in their first meeting of the season.