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Game 1 (First Round): Orlando vs. Milwaukee GameThread

It’s a brand new season - the playoffs are here (and the Magic have their hands full)

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Orlando Magic (33-40) at Milwaukee Bucks (56-17)
When: Tuesday, August 18th, 1:30 PM EST
Where: Disney World (Wide World of Sports Complex), Lake Buena Vista, FL
TV: TNT, Fox Sports FL
Line: Milwaukee -13, O/U: 225
Injuries: Orlando - Al-Farouq Aminu (OUT, knee), Mohamed Bamba (OUT, COVID-related), Michael Carter-Williams (OUT, foot), Aaron Gordon (OUT, hamstring), Jonathan Isaac (OUT, knee); Milwaukee - Ersan Ilyasova (OUT, elbow)

Milwaukee Bucks Orlando Magic
112.4 (8th) ORtg 108.5 (23rd)
102.9 (1st) DRtg 109.5 (10th)
105.1 (1st) Pace 98.6 (25th)
Projected Starting Lineups
Eric Bledsoe G Markelle Fultz
Wesley Matthews G Evan Fournier
Khris Middleton F James Ennis
Giannis Antetokounmpo F Gary Clark
Brook Lopez C Nikola Vucevic

Pregame quotes from Coach Clifford

“He (Gordon) played some extra one-on-one at the end of practice yesterday (actually after I spoke to you guys). You could tell he’s made a lot of gains, but he’s not ready to play in an NBA game. He’ll do rehab again today and continue to strengthen his leg (and tomorrow hopefully), and we’ll see if he can play on Thursday. Obviously it’s a hit (to our team). I think he’s (by the numbers) either first, second, or third in terms of defending the combination of Giannis, Kawhi (Leonard), and LeBron (James) in the NBA - it’s one of his great strengths. We have other guys, but we’re going to need him if we’re going to have an opportunity to win this series. But we have enough so we can win today.”
~Steve Clifford on Aaron Gordon’s status as he works his way back from a hamstring injury.

“I think it’s critical, especially in a playoff game against a great team - you don’t want to be playing from behind for the whole game. What you are talking about, that was the message this morning (to the team). Let’s be ahead after the first timeout, let’s be ahead at the end of the first quarter. I think that’s a big deal in this game (and in this whole series).”
~Clifford on his team getting off to a strong start through the first few minutes of the contest.

For some pre-game reading, check out our pieces on Orlando’s playoff history as an eighth seed and a remembrance of the only prior playoff meeting between the Magic and Bucks, both from Mike Ferguson.

Our Mike Cali did a Q & A with Mitchell Maurer from Brew Hoop about the upcoming series.

Should Orlando “fear the deer”? Garrett Townsend previews the series here.

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