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Magic vs. Bucks GameThread

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Orlando returns to Amway after a ten day road-trip playing on the second night of a back-to-back

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

2:36 A.M. That's what time it was when the Magic landed in Orlando this morning after suffering an embarrassing 108-72 loss to the San Antonio Spurs last night.

The NBA schedule makers did the Magic no favors during this current part of the schedule; slating the Magic against the Bucks (who arrived to town yesterday) on the second night of a Texas/Florida back to back, while also returning home from a ten-day road trip.

To make matters even worse, the Magic will again be without Aaron Gordon, who is still recovering from a concussion he suffered against the Lakers last week.

"He feels fine, but the concussion protocol is a series of tests that you have to pass before you can return to play," Coach Vogel said. "They did say he did better than the day before."

The Magic, who were down by more than 40 points at various points of last night's game, scored their lowest point total of the season (72 points) against the Spurs.

"It felt like we were out of rhythm," Vogel said. "The reality is, there were a number of good possessions (with good looks), that we bricked."

"You're going to have nights like that. Guys are trying to play the right way," Vogel added.

Perhaps the lone bright spot from the West Coast trip the Magic just completed, one that saw the team drop all five of their contests, was the increased usage and role coming from rookie Jonathan Isaac. Isaac missed Orlando's first two match-ups this season against the Bucks, but will be available tonight to try and slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo.

"We're going to start that way (with Isaac defending Antetokounmpo)," Vogel said. "There's still a minutes restriction on him, so I don't know how much it will be throughout the game. But he will get the first crack at it."

The Bucks last played Monday night in Memphis, a game in which they defeated the Grizzlies 121-103. The Bucks received a huge lift in that contest from Brandon Jennings, who was playing in his first game back with the team after signing a 10-day contract with the organization. Jennings scored 16 points and dished out 12 assists in his return to the NBA.

All-Star forward Antetokounmpo has averaged 29.0 points against the Magic in two games (both victories) this season. Milwaukee has taken six of the last eight meetings against Orlando.

Additional pre-game quotes:
Coach Vogel, on Aaron Gordon: "The worst thing that can happen to an athlete is to be concussed while being concussed. That's where a long-term injury can take place."

Coach Vogel, on defending Antetokounmpo (and whether to back off of him while defending him): "He's intelligent, he's growing as a basketball player. Just because your backing off and giving it to him doesn't mean he's going to come down and take eight three's (and miss seven of them). He's going to take good shots."

Coach Vogel, on "tanking" going on around the NBA and establishing a "fine-line": "For us, we're trying to build a winning program, plain and simple. We're trying to develop our young guys, we're trying to develop our experienced guys. We're trying to develop our defensive scheme, and (continue) to build our habits. This is an important time for each player on our team (and our franchise)."

As always, leave your pre-game and in-game comments here. Enjoy!

Milwaukee Bucks (36-31, Won 2 in a row) @ Orlando Magic (20-48, Lost 5 in a row)

March 14th, 2018

Amway Center

7:00 P.M. EST

TV: Fox Sports Florida

Eric Bledsoe

PG

D.J. Augustin

Tony Snell

SG

Jonathon Simmons

Khris Middleton

SF

Mario Hezonja

Giannis Antetokounmpo

PF

Jonathan Isaac

John Henson

C

Nikola Vucevic

MILWAUKEE

ORLANDO

95.7 (24th of 30)

PACE

98.1 (11th of 30)

109.1 (12th of 30)

O-RTG

106.3 (24th of 30)

109.3 (19th of 30)

D-RTG

111.2 (27th of 30)