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Magic vs. Bulls GameThread

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Magic look to continue developing against the sliding Bulls

NBA: Orlando Magic at Chicago Bulls Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic (22-52) look to continue developing their young core against the free-falling Chicago Bulls (24-51) on Friday night at the Amway Center.

While the Orlando Magic have had no favors done to them by the injury bug, they do look to recover some of their talent tonight against the equally depleted Bulls team.

With Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross and Jonathon Simmons out of the lineup yet again, the Magic will get a much needed boost with their two valuable rookies returning to action.

The Bulls on the other hand, may not be so fortunate. Kris Dunn (toe), Zach LaVine (knee), Cristiano Felicio (back), and Paul Zipser (undisclosed) are all thought to miss Friday’s matchup. Denzel Valentine (knee) and Robin Lopez (probable), are question marks as well, though are expected to play.

Lauri Markkanen, the team’s prized lottery selection in this past offseason’s draft, looks to return after missing last night’s contest with the Heat for rest purposes.

In 62 games this season, Markkanen averages 14.9 points on 42.8% shooting and 34.5% from three on six shots per game as well as 7.5 rebounds. He will be an interesting test for both Isaac and Aaron Gordon.

In Thursday’s loss to the Miami Heat, their seventh in a row, the Bulls were forced to start Noah Vonleh, David Nwaba, Robin Lopez, Cameron Payne and Justin Holiday.

The Bulls have the sixth worst record in the NBA and look to fall even further tonight without reinforcements. They are 9-29 on the road this season, as well as 2-10 on the second night of back to backs this season.

The young Magic’s focus going forward will be the continued development of Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon. Can the two form a foundation that the Magic can build upon this offseason?

The Magic have been struggling to score points consistently, going 0-for-11 from the field in the fourth against the Nets, failing to score a field goal against the Raptors until the three minute mark in that same period, and scoring but 12 points in the second quarter against the Suns.

Can they reverse their fortunes and establish some consistency?

Tonight stems the perfect opportunity against a free-falling opponent.