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Game 68: Magic vs. Timberwolves GameThread

Orlando’s emerging defense will be tested Friday against Minnesota’s high-powered offense

NBA: Orlando Magic at Minnesota Timberwolves Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Minnesota Timberwolves (38-29) at Orlando Magic (17-50)
When: Friday, March 11th, 7:00 PM EST
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
TV: Bally Sports Florida
Line: Minnesota -8, O/U: 232.5
Injuries: Minnesota - Edwards (QUESTIONABLE, knee), Prince (QUESTIONABLE, back), Vanderbilt (QUESTIONABLE, quad); Orlando - Bol (OUT, foot), Isaac (OUT, knee)

Minnesota Timberwolves Orlando Magic
113.3 (7th) ORtg 104.2 (29th)
110.3 (12th) DRtg 112.0 (18th)
100.6 (2nd) Pace 99.4 (10th)
Projected Starting Lineups
Patrick Beverley G Jalen Suggs
D'Angelo Russell G Cole Anthony
Anthony Edwards F Franz Wagner
Jaden McDaniels F Wendell Carter Jr.
Karl-Anthony Towns C Mo Bamba

Pregame Quotes from Coach

“Obviously, it always starts with transition defense. We’ve really got to get back against a team that likes to run, and can score it at a high-level. Defensive rebounding, making sure that we’re finishing off possessions the right way. And then having us be able to get out and run offensively. But then, defending without fouling - Towns does a great job of drawing fouls, as does ‘D-Lo’ - same thing. So we’ve got to make sure that we’re defending without fouling, and getting out to that three point line. The three’s that they’re taking, understanding where those shooters are, contesting, and being the second guy off the ground (so we’re not fouling jump shooters).” ~ Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley on all the challenges that face his team against the Timberwolves tonight.

“A combination of a few things. I think it’s just that they’re defending well, getting in transition, getting deflections and steals. They do a great job on the offensive glass. And then the shooting, they’ve got so many guys capable of knocking-down three’s, so understanding where and how to get out to guys. They’re sharing the basketball, and they’ve got guys capable of doing it individually as well.” ~ Mosley on what Minnesota, winners of six in a row (and seven of eight), is doing at a high-level.

“Like we said before, I think a big part of that is going to come down to his comfort-level. That’s where we are with him right now, his comfort-level on the court. That’s the number one thing right now. And then, moving forward with that, we talk about the different combinations of lineups we’re going to use, being able to sub in any different times with him (Fultz) during a certain stretch, that’s actually helping guys gel together (and different looks, different chemistries). So again, with ‘Kelle, it’s comfort-level, and then the ability to now bounce different lineups with him, and find out what that comfort-level is with different groups on the floor.” ~ Mosley on Fultz’s minutes as he eases his way back from injury.

Check out our extended preview of tonight’s Magic/Timberwolves game here.

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