ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic’s tests against the NBA elite persist as they continue their momentum. Following their victory over the reigning champions, the Denver Nuggets, they now square off against the Boston Celtics.
Boston arrives in Orlando atop the Eastern Conference with a 12-3 record, boasting a flawless 2-0 run in Group C of the NBA Cup Tournament. Their dominance has been evident throughout the early stages of the season.
The Celtics have undergone significant roster changes, bidding farewell to Marcus Smart while gaining Kristaps Porzingis. This shift has rendered them more focused, particularly enhancing their defensive capabilities in the center position.
Meanwhile, the Magic are riding a five-game winning streak and hold a 3-1 record in the tournament. They’ve triumphed over formidable opponents such as the Indiana Pacers and the Champions Nuggets.
Orlando has adeptly adjusted to various play styles exhibited by their opponents, showcasing an effective defensive strategy while retaining their identity as a resolute defensive unit that thrives through collective effort.
In the recent match against Boston, Franz Wagner emerged as a standout player for the Magic. His tenacity posed problems for the Celtics, contributing 27 points, 6 assists, and a blocked shot. Notably, the Magic’s bench outperformed the Celtics’ bench, dominating with a score of 57-24.
Continuing their strategy of attacking the paint, Orlando exploited the absence of Porzingis in the game, capitalizing on the Celtics’ vulnerability in the interior.
Consequently, the Magic dominated with 60 points in the paint against Boston’s 40.
A highlight of the game was Jonathan Isaac’s high-energy defense against Celtics’ star Jayson Tatum. Despite leading Boston in scoring, Tatum struggled, shooting 7 for 18 from the field and 3 for 12 from beyond the arc against Isaac’s tenacious defense.
Paolo Banchero also contributed significantly with 23 points for the Magic, but it was the collective effort of determined players that secured the victory. Jonathan Isaac (5 points, 7 rebounds) and Cole Anthony (16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists) endured physical challenges during the game but rallied to clinch the win against the Celtics.
“It’s a testament to their continued growth,” commented Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley. “They’re embracing challenges and tackling them collectively. Our fans are an integral part of this collective effort, providing unwavering support from start to finish. Their cheers create an incredible momentum shift for us.”
Orlando enjoys a night off before facing the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday afternoon at the Amway Center.