While the standings leave the Washington Wizards at 17-15, there is an opportunity here for the slumping Magic.
The Magic have lost seven straight including last night’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, but the Washington Wizards are in the midst of a difficult stretch.
Having lost two of the past three, including an embarrassing loss to the Brooklyn Nets last night, 119-84, the Wizards are spending more time spreading out Xmas cheer then focusing on the Orlando Magic.
In addition, the Wizards famously relish the opportunity to quiet the Boston Celtics, and their primetime matchup looms this Christmas.
What to Watch For:
In a battle of abysmal shooting, who will have enough to win? The Wizards shot an abysmal 36% from the field last night, including 25% from three.
John Wall has had a difficult time finding his rhythm after being inserted into the lineup. He was limited to sixteen minutes of action last night and ten points on 4/11 shooting.
Likewise Otto Porter was limited to twenty minutes and six points.
The Magic will seek to outrebound a team that was dominated on the boards 69-42 Friday night against the Nets, and find enough scoring to pace themselves through a team whose starters shot just 31% from the field.
However, Mike Scott has been a revelation off the bench. He has a mind-boggling true shooting percentage of 72.2 percent through the month of December and is shooting 73.6 percent (on 53 of 72 shots) from the field.
The Wizards certainly expect to walk away with this one.
After last night’s seventh consecutive loss, Frank Vogel said: “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” Vogel said. “It’s that simple.”
Can the Magic catch the Wizards at just the right time and get a win before Christmas?
When: Saturday, December 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
Win probability: Washington has a 68 percent chance of winning according to a Kevin Broom’s Win Predictor and an 82 percent chance of winning, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Wizards: Sheldon Mac (Out, Achilles)
Magic: Evan Fournier (Doubtful, Ankle), Aaron Gordon (Doubtful, Calf), Jonathan Isaac(Doubtful, Ankle), Terrence Ross (Out, Knee)