No Aaron Gordon. No Kyrie Irving. No Evan Fournier. No Jaylen Brown. No Marcus Smart.
You could build a decent team from the players that won’t be playing in Friday night’s Magic/Celtics game.
The Magic welcome the Celtics to Orlando after snapping a five-game losing streak with one of their most complete efforts of the season in a win over the Bucks thanks to a career-high 35 points from Jonathon Simmons. The Magic will again rely heavily on Simms to generate offense with Gordon set to miss his fifth game while in concussion protocol. And maybe, just maybe, Nikola Vucevic will finally step up in the absence of the Magic’s two leading scorers.
The Celtics, who are coming off a double overtime heartbreaker against the Wizards, make a stop in Orlando for what will be the first match-up in a long stretch of road games. They are 5-3 in games that they are without Irving, who is suffering from a sore left knee. While some names in the starting lineup may not sound familiar, though Al Horford is expected to return after missing Wednesday’s game, the Celtics defense will keep them in any game thanks to a league-best defensive rating of 101.5 points.
Tip is set for 7 p.m. Eastern at Amway Center. Join the conversation below.
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