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Game 71: Magic vs. Hawks GameThread

The Magic are in the middle of a five-game home-stand that will go a long way in determining if they remain contenders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Atlanta Hawks (24-46) at Orlando Magic (32-28)
When: Sunday, March 17th, 6:00 PM EST
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Line: Orlando -8.5, O/U: 225
OUT: Orlando - Bamba (leg), Briscoe (knee), Fultz (shoulder)

Atlanta Orlando
Offensive Rating: 107.8 (22nd) Offensive Rating: 107.4 (25th)
Defensive Rating: 113.6 (28th) Defensive Rating: 108.1 (9th)
Pace: 103.7 (2nd) Pace: 98.0 (25th)
Projected Starters:
PG - Trae Young PG - D.J. Augustin
SG - Kevin Huerter SG - Evan Fournier
SF - Taurean Prince F - Aaron Gordon
PF - John Collins F - Jonathan Isaac
C - Dewayne Dedmon C - Nikola Vucevic

Quotes from Coach’s pre-game conference:

“Incredible athletic ability and (he’s) a shot-maker. It’s really what he is, he still makes shots. He’s very smart, he knows how to find open areas. And he’s obviously one of those veteran guys that people like to have around.” ~ Coach Clifford on Vince Carter

“Happy for them, proud of them. I’ve said this before, this is my second time here - (I’ve worked for) five different franchises. This is the best ownership group I’ve ever worked for. I think the family sets the tone. The players know - we all know - if you’re going to work here, being involved in the community is a priority here. I think there’s great spirit within this organization, better than any other place I’ve ever worked.” ~ Coach Clifford on Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon being awarded DeVos Community Enrichment Awards

“It starts in two places. One - their second in pace, they get some of it in transition. Dedmon gets trailer three’s when you don’t get back and don’t match-up. And then (two) - their penetration game. It’s very pick-and-roll and dribble-hand-off oriented. I would say Young is where it starts, but they’re ‘five out’.” ~ Coach Clifford on the importance of guarding Atlanta on the perimeter.

“I’m going to use him. That’s why he was brought here. He’s not going to play a lot of minutes.” ~ Coach Clifford on Michael Carter-Williams. Coach described Carter-Williams as an “8.5/9 (out of 10) as an on-ball and pick-and-roll defender.”

For a more in-depth preview of tonight’s Magic/Hawks game, check out our game preview here.

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