The Orlando Magic have a tall task ahead of them Friday when they visit the Atlanta Hawks, the East's best team. And that task got tougher Friday morning when Orlando officially ruled out rookie forward Aaron Gordon.
Gordon left Wednesday's devastating loss against the Miami Heat due to a sprained right ankle. He did not return. In just nine minutes, the Arizona product managed six points, a rebound, an assist, and a steal.
Injuries have limited Gordon in his first professional season: he missed 32 games early in the season because of a broken bone in his left foot. Nonetheless, he's established himself as a plus defender whose energy and versatility help him make an impact. On the season, Gordon is averaging 5.6 points and three rebounds in 15.5 minutes, shooting 53.4 percent from the floor.
The Magic tip off against Atlanta at 7:30 PM Eastern on Friday.