The Magic are currently in a lottery-defining stretch. And it continues tonight in New York.
Set to play the fifth of six straight games against a team that currently owns one of the top 10 worst records in the league, the Magic have done all they could to improve their lottery odds of late.
After opening the stretch with a home win over Phoenix, the Magic fell to Brooklyn and then lost 90-82 to Chicago and 94-88 to Atlanta. The Magic's two-game point total of 170 is their second lowest output in consecutive games this season, just barely edging out the 169 points they managed against Eastern powers Boston and Toronto in March.
On Tuesday, the Magic's struggling offense is set to collide with the Knicks' struggling defense, which has allowed an average of 123.3 points per game during the team's current three-game losing streak.
The Magic will again be without Jonathan Isaac, who was coming off a career-high 15 point performance against the Hawks on Sunday. Isaac is set to miss his 50th game of the season after spraining his left ankle against Atlanta. Thankfully it is not the same ankle that caused him to miss a bulk of his rookie season.
Isaac told John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com on Tuesday morning that the ankle feels good but "obviously not where I can play tonight. Definitely, it feels better than the right one did when it got messed up, so I'm not discouraged at all."
Look for a strong bounce back game from Nikola Vucevic, who shot just 3-for-19 for 10 points in the Magic's loss to the Hawks. Vooch has played well in three games against the Knicks this season, averaging 25.7 points on 65.2 percent shooting, numbers that were boosted by his 34-point performance in Orlando's win at the Garden in December.
The Magic (22-54) have won two of three games against the Knicks (27-50) this season. The Knicks, who will be without Michael Beasley and Enes Kanter, have received some quality point guard play of late from Trey Burke since he has been inserted into the starting lineup. Burke, if you recall, scored 26 points in late February to power the Knicks to a 120-113 win over the Magic.
Who will prevail, the team with the struggling offense or the team with the struggling defense? We'll soon find out.
Tip if set for 7:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden. Join the conversation below.....