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Magic vs. Knicks preview: Magic eight-game losing streak won’t be an easy one to snap

If the Magic don’t beat the Knicks on Thursday, there might be no end in sight for their losing streak

New York Knicks v Orlando Magic Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

If the Magic can’t stop the bleeding on Thursday, there’s a chance it could continue for a long time.

The Magic have lost eight straight games, all while trade rumors are swirling around the team, and one more loss would match their longest losing streak since the 2017 season. If the Magic are unable to defeat the 20-21 Knicks in New York on Thursday, there’s a chance the losing streak could double based on the caliber of their opponents....

3/18 at Knicks

3/19 vs. Nets

3/21 at Celtics

3/23 vs. Nuggets

3/24 vs. Suns

3/26 vs. Blazers

3/28 at Lakers

3/30 at Clippers

4/1 at Pelicans

4/3 at Jazz

4/4 at Nuggets

That’s a lot of contenders, a few back-to-backs, one tough West Coast trip, and a trade deadline throw in the middle for good measure.

Tankathon is keeping an eye on the situation...

Just putting it out there that the Magic’s longest losing streak in franchise history was 19 games, set during Tracy McGrady’s final season in 2003-2004, which resulted in Orlando winning the draft lottery and selecting Dwight Howard.

Of course, even if the Magic lose to the Knicks, there is always a chance they can upset any of the teams listed to snap the streak. Still even at full strength, there likely won’t be very many wins in that stretch for the Magic.

Orlando had has three days off since suffering an ugly loss to the Heat on Sunday, giving the team some rare practice time, and also a chance for their injured players to heal. Aaron Gordon (ankle), Evan Fournier (back) and Terrence Ross (knee) all remain questionable for the matchup with the Knicks. James Ennis remains out, and Michael Carter-Williams is also out with a non-COVID illness, making the Magic short on ball-handlers with a potential point guard rotation of Chasson Randle and Karim Mane.

The Knicks will be shorthanded at the point guard spot, as well, with veteran Derrick Rose, our old friend Elfrid Payton and rookie Immanuel Quickley all out, perhaps making Frank Ntilikina the starter for the evening.

The Knicks, currently sitting eighth in the East, are coming off two tough losses against the league’s elite after nearly coming back from 18 down against the Nets only to lose 117-112, and then falling to the Sixers, 99-96, on the second night of a back-to-back.

The Knicks enter with the league’s sixth best defensive rating at 108.7 points per 100 possessions. They’ll take on a shorthanded Magic team that during its eight-game losing streak has posted the second worst offensive rating in the league at 101.5 points per, with an effective field goal percentage of 49.9 percent, also second worst.

When the two teams last met on Feb. 17, the Magic defeated the Knicks, 107-89, to kick off a three-game winning streak, Orlando’s last victories before beginning their losing streak. In their previous meeting in January at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks held the Magic to what was at the time a season-low 84 points.

Who: Orlando Magic (13-26) at New York Knicks (20-21)

When: Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Madison Square Garden — New York, N.Y.

TV: Fox Sports Florida