The season appears to be slipping away from the Orlando Magic, who are 3-14 in their last 17 after starting off 6-2 to begin the year. During that brutal stretch, the only wins have come against the out-of-sync Oklahoma City Thunder, and the banged-up New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks.
The good news for the Magic is that all three of those wins came at home, and that's where they will take the floor against a Portland Trailblazers team that has gone 1-5 in their last six games.
Injuries will play a big role in this one, as Blazers' stars Jusuf Nurkic and Damian Lillard are both nursing ankle injuries that could limit their mobility against the Magic.
Conversely, the Magic are battling an injury bug that caused five key players to miss Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Though Evan Fournier will not be on the floor for round two of his emerging beef with Blazers shooting guard C.J. McCollum, the good news is that Aaron Gordon has been cleared to play without a minutes restriction.
Speaking of last game, the Magic will need to learn from the mistakes they made in their only matchup with the Blazers this season, a 99-94 loss in Portland. During that matchup, three Blazer guards, Lillard, McCollum, and former Magic Man Shabazz Napier combined for 69 points and powered the team down the stretch.
Line: Portland -4.5 (OddsShark)
Orlando — Arron Afflalo (Back) – OUT; Evan Fournier (Ankle) – OUT; Aaron Gordon (Concussion) – IN; Jonathan Isaac (Ankle) – OUT; Terrence Ross (Knee) – OUT;
Portland — Meyers Leonard (Illness) – IN; Damian Lillard (Ankle) – IN; Jusuf Nurkic (Ankle) – IN; CJ Wilcox (Knee) – OUT;