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Game 46: Magic vs. Bucks GameThread

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The Magic look to salvage the weekend against one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference

NBA: Orlando Magic at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks, led by their perennial All-Star and MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, are in Orlando Saturday night to take on the Magic. The Bucks come to town riding a three-game winning streak. Milwaukee hasn’t played since Wednesday night when they defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 111-101.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Magic are back in action less than 24 hours since a gut-wrenching home loss to the Brooklyn Nets Friday night. The Magic blew a 21-point lead before ultimately dropping the contest 117-115.

To make matters worse, the Magic will be playing without Aaron Gordon, who hurt his back against the Nets. Jonathon Simmons, who has been out of Steve Clifford’s rotation as of late, will start in Gordon’s place.

The Bucks enter play Saturday night top-five in the NBA in offense (5th), defense (1st), and pace (5th).

Who: Milwaukee Bucks (32-12) at Orlando Magic (19-26)
When: Saturday, January 19th, 7:00 PM EST
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Line: Milwaukee -9.5, O/U: 222
Out: Orlando - Gordon (back)

Milwaukee Orlando
Offensive Rating: 114.2 (5th) Offensive Rating: 106.2 (26th)
Defensive Rating: 104.5 (1st) Defensive Rating: 110.1 (14th)
Pace: 102.5 (5th) Pace: 97.1 (26th)
Projected Starters:
PG - Eric Bledsoe PG - D.J. Augustin
SG - Malcolm Brogdon SG - Evan Fournier
SF - Khris Middleton F - Jonathon Simmons
PF - Giannis Antetokounmpo F - Jonathan Isaac
C - Brook Lopez C - Nikola Vucevic


Quotes from Coach Clifford’s pregame conference:


Clifford on the Bucks - “You can look at their offense, I think they’re 4th in offense. But it’s their defense. If you turn the ball over, it’s done. We have to be able to run good offense. They play old-school defense. In an NBA that switches everything, they switch nothing.”

“I thought he played really well. I thought he was going to struggle more with conditioning because of the nature of his injury...I thought he played well, the first half he was really good.” - Clifford when asked about Bamba’s return last night.

Clifford on Gordon’s status - “He’s out. He’s (feeling) a lot better today. He should be good by Monday.”

Clifford on Lopez - “Last year they played three-out. Now their four-out, one in. It’s such a difference for him (Giannis), he has so much more space on the floor.” Clifford mentioned multiple times pregame how much better the Bucks are now with Lopez shooting/creating space.


For perspective from the other side, please check out our friends over at Brew Hoop.

Post your pregame and in-game comments below. Feel free to follow us on Twitter over at @OPPMagicBlog. And as always - enjoy!