Well, it’s time for the Magic to respond.
After suffering a 40-point embarrassment against the Jazz on Saturday, Frank Vogel told reporters that he was "less concerned about what happened in this game and more concerned about how we’ll respond to it."
If their response doesn’t include a win on Monday against Indiana, the Magic could easily be well on their way to a lengthy losing streak. The Magic, who have dropped four straight, will take on the Pacers on Monday before heading out on another difficult four-game road trip. They return home with match-ups against the Thunder and Warriors waiting. In other words, and I apologize in advance for having this loser’s mentality, but their four-game losing streak can quickly grow to an 11-game losing streak if not nipped in the bud against Indiana.
The Pacers have won three-straight, including a 120-95 win at Miami on Sunday night, but are 0-3 in the second night of back-to-back games this season. That, though, offers little comfort given that the Jazz built a 46-point lead against the Magic despite being on the back end of a back-to-back, injury plagued and winless on the road.
The Pacers have also won six straight in Orlando and 11 of the last 12 meetings against the Magic.
Indiana ranks fifth in the league in offensive efficiency, scoring 108.3 points per 100 possessions. The Pacers are led by a familiar face in Victor Oladipo, who is averaging 22.6 points per game.
The Pacers just edge out Golden State in three-point shooting percentage, hitting a league-best 40.4 percent on 25.1 attempts per game. The Magic, who allowed Utah to connect on 14 of 34 three-point attempts (41.2 percent) and made Rodney Hood look like the second-coming of Larry Bird, must contest perimeter shots and solve their pick-and-roll defense.
Offensively, Orlando must reestablish their offense rhythm, which relied on pushing the pace and finding the open man, and helped them jump out to a 6-2 start to the season.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Eastern. Catch the game on Fox Sports Florida, NBA TV or ESPN AM 580.
Magic: Elfrid Payton, Terrence Ross, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic
Pacers: Darren Collison, Victor Oladipo, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, Myles Turner